Sci-Fi December: The Man Who Fell to Earth

The man who fell to Earth illustration by Jeff SchwartzbauerThe Man Who Feel to Earth – 1976

Dir: Nicholas Roeg | Starring: David Bowie, Rip Torn, Candy Clark, Buck Henry

Year: 1976

Review: David Bowie in his first starring role plays an Alien who has landed on earth in an attempt to amass resources to bring back to his home planet in order to save it. He begins this process by engaging in American business and patents a number of alien technologies to become extremely wealthy. However his confusion of human behavior, booze, love, sex, an obsession with television, and government intrusion prevent his progress and stall him for decades. This is a long and sprawling character study that shows how modern day america (or earth) can generate roadblocks for others due to suspicion and jealousy even if its completely unnecessary and unwarranted. David Bowie was an excellent choice for this role and seems to have been made for him. Not only does his behavior and appearance seem rather alien as it is – he has since admitted that during the entire filming schedule of the movie he was extremely high on cocaine at all times. So, I am sure that aided in his departed and confused performance. The entire film can be long and meandering and leave details in the shadows that can be difficult to pin point at times. But its an interesting sort of “art house” science fiction experience and much of the direction really works well considering we are to be putting our selves in the shoes of a confused alien. If you are a patient film viewer I recommend it, otherwise you may not enjoy the drifting nature of how the story is told and how the years pass by.

Here is the official trailer which does a terrible job of representing the movie:

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