Argentinian collage artist MUMI uses vintage, antique, and even ancient imagery to create wonderful, layered works that feel like Medieval and Renaissance portraiture but through a skewed, surreal lens.
Top to bottom: A orillas del cielo; Dreamland; El huésped; Guardián de las cenizas; Healing Nature; Insomnia; Magma Melting; Magnificent Nature; Mi jardín primitivo; The Search
..."Moonage Daydream," the David Bowie film directed by Brett Morgen.
As a life-long David Bowie fan, I was looking forward to this film but was not quite prepared for the form it took, and director Morgen has accomplished quite a feat of filmmaking. It's not a bio-pic (no actor plays Bowie), and it doesn't quite feel like a documentary either (there are no talking-head interviews with contemporaries or friends or family of Bowie, and no review of his life)--yet, fittingly, it is the first feature to be fully authorized by the Bowie estate. But if it's not those things, then what is it?
As its name suggests, this is less of a film and much more of a dream, an hallucination, a prayer. Presenting images and songs somewhat in chronological order, the only voice for a narrative is Bowie's own. Through a mix of what sound like pensive recordings Bowie made himself and press interviews, we hear him musing on profound, spiritual, and existential questions. Of course anyone who ponders such questions feels those questions deeply, through their soul. And that is where the impulse, the elan to create lies. It is a disarming and unexpectedly intimate experience listening to Bowie speak this way, and reflect on how his own spirit and mind evolved by allowing himself to evolve as an artist. And all while watching a swirling kaleidoscope of Bowie's many looks and characters--including a glimpse into the Bowie archive of five million different items, paintings, drawings, recordings, photographs, films ("The Man Who Fell To Earth," "Just A Gigolo," Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence," "The Hunger," and rare clips of Bowie on stage in the Broadway production of "The Elephant Man"), and journals--along with relevant stock footage and film clips from sources as varied as the 1922 "Nosferatu," the 1928 "The Passion of Joan of Arc," Salvador Dalí and Luis Buñuel's 1929 short masterpiece "Un Chien Andalou," "The Wizard of Oz," "2001: A Space Odyssey" (not "Oddity"), and "A Clockwork Orange."
And naturally we get to hear Bowie's music but what struck me was the mash-ups of songs with studio versions, live versions, remixes...and the juxtapositions between songs, all beautifully produced by longtime Bowie collaborator Tony Visconti.
The result is a glorious, impressionistic reverie of color, shape, and sound...or "Sound and Vision"...
Recommend? Yes, absolutely. Especially if you are a Bowie fan. And if you are unfamiliar (and, perhaps through no fault of your own, have been living under a rock), you won't get a definitive account of the man and his life...just sit back and take it in. Feel him and experience who he was and is. If you miss it playing at a theatre, not to worry: it will be streaming this coming spring of 2023 on HBO MAX.
"Oh, By The Way" is my digital scrap book of things I like, things I would share with a close friend and say: “Oh, by the way, do you know of this artist/ clothing or interior designer/ model/ singer/ actor/ gorgeous man… or, have you seen this video/ photo/ film... or heard (or do you remember) this song/ band... or, read this book/ poem/ inspiring quote... or, visited this place/ museum/ restaurant/ famous building... or, have you heard of this amazing new scientific discovery?”
I am dedicated to posting the positive, the fascinating, the beautiful, the interesting, the moving, and the inspiring and uplifting. Sometimes I post cultural as well as personal observations, milestones, and remembrances. And just like life, all of these things may often have a bit of melancholy or even sadness in them, which is what makes our time here so lovely and bittersweet and precious.
Some of the photos, art, poetry, and prose are my own original work, credited with my initials, JEF. When it isn't, I always try to post links to the original source material, but often I find photos on the web that are not linked or other material that is not sourced. In these instances, I post them without malice since it is assumed that such things, by being globally posted on something as uncontrollable as the internet to begin with, are in the public domain. If you identify the source of an image that is not linked, please politely let me know (without accusing me of theft) and I will be happy to provide a link. If you are the owner of an image and would prefer it be removed, I am happy to do that as well.
I hope to inspire and entertain my readers with things that inspire and entertain me. There is a startling amount of beauty and creativity in the world and it enriches us all to participate in it.
All-time Favorite Films
2001: A Space Odyssey (Kubrick)
After Hours (Hysterical, hair-raising ride through NYC at night)
American Beauty (Alan Ball)
Baraka (Stunning, transcending—the "spiritus mundi" on film)
Belle et Bete (Cocteau)
Big Sleep, The (The epitome of film noir)
Bringing Up Baby (Hepburn & Grant—the epitome of screwball comedy)
Cook, The Thief, His Wife, and Her Lover, The (Greenaway)
Crash (Cronenberg—DIFFICULT subject, not for everyone)
Don’t Look Now (Nicolas Roeg—ultimate modern gothic horror)
Drowning By Numbers (Greenaway)
Edward II (Derek Jarman)
Erendira (From magic realist Marquez’ brilliant short story)
Eyes Wide Shut (Kubrick's last film)
Fearless (Jeff Bridges—life and death)
Funny Bones (Leslie Caron, Jerry Lewis, and the brilliant Lee Evans)
Holiday (Hepburn & Grant)
Howard’s End (The ultimate statement of the unfairness of class systems)
Ice Storm, The
Inland Empire (David Lynch)
Interiors (Woody Allen's ode to Bergman)
Jetée, La (French short that inspired Gilliam's "12 Monkeys")
Jules et Jim (Truffaut)
Juliet of the Spirits (My favorite Fellini)
Kwaidan (4 Japanese ghost stories)
L’Age d’Or (Bunuel)
Last Temptation of Christ, The (Jesus was a shaman)
Latcho Drom (Beautiful visual documentary of Romany culture around the world)
Lion in Winter, The (Hepburn!—Like “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf” but circa 1183)
Living End, The
Lost Highway (David Lynch)
Maurice (Boy gets boy, they live happily ever after!!!!!)
Men Don’t Leave (Jessica Lange’s gorgeous delicate performance)
Nights of Cabiria, The (Fellini)
Orlando (Tilda Swinton’s pristine performance and Sally Potter’s ravishing visuals)
Orphée (HEAVEN! Cocteau was a genius)
Pennies From Heaven (Steve Martin/ stunning Edward Hopper sets!)
Philadelphia Story, The (Hepburn)
Pillow Book, The (Greenaway)
Planet of the Apes (1968...NOT 2001!)
Postman Always Rings Twice, The (Nicholson/Lange--WOW)
Prospero’s Books (Greenaway)
Rebel Without a Cause ("I got the bullets!")
Shining, The (Kubrick)
Thin Red Line, The (Terrence Malick--existential poetry cleverly disguised as a war film)
Titus (Julie Taymor does Shakespeare)
Tommy (Brilliant, audacious Ken Russell film of The Who's rock opera)
Tree Of Life, The (Terrence Malick masterpiece)
Un Chien Andalou (Bunuel and Dali, need more be said?)
Wall,The (Pink Floyd)
Wings of Desire (All the feelings of the entire human race in one film)
Woman of the Year (Dated yet charming Hepburn vehicle)
Zabriskie Point (Empty, open, classic early 70s)
ZOO, A Zed and Two Noughts (Greenaway)
The Sounds My Soul Makes: Music
Dead Can Dance
Everything But the Girl
Gang of Four
Nine Inch Nails
Rickie Lee Jones
Tears For Fears
This Mortal Coil
Important Books That Have Influenced Me
100 Years of Solitude—Gabriel Garcia Marquez
A Wrinkle in Time, A Wind in the Doorway (for young people but worth it)—Madeleine L’Engle