Fans got a first look at Brett Morgen‘s upcoming Moonage Daydream documentary on David Bowie with a teaser narrated by the late artist. The first feature documentary made with the cooperation of Bowie’s estate will premiere at the Cannes Film Festival tonight, May 23rd.
The Moonage Daydream teaser strikes at the heart of Bowie’s ability to elude definition. The clip opens with audio of Dick Cavett observing, “Questions have arisen such as who is he, what is he, where did he come from, is he a creature of a foreign power, is he a creep, is he dangerous, is he smart, dumb, nice to his parents, real, put on, crazy, sane, man, woman, robot, what is this?”
The film contains never-before-seen archival 35mm and 16mm of Bowie’s stage performances and 48 tracks taken from original studio recordings, all provided to Morgen by the Star Man’s widow Iman. Bowie’s estate previously resisted cooperating with any posthumous documentary, with Iman telling Variety, “We always ask each other, ‘Would he do it?’ He wouldn’t.”
Iman and the other executors were eventually won over by Morgen’s extensive filmography including Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck, Jane, Crossfire Hurricane, and more. Rather than producing surface-level documentaries, Morgen instead uses private material to peel back the public persona and illuminate a subject’s true nature.
“Bowie cannot be defined, he can be experienced,” Morgen told a crowd at CinemaCon. “That is why we crafted Moonage Daydream, to be a unique cinematic experience.” He also said he had spent two years “scrolling through every piece of material in the Bowie archive” to craft the film.
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Beyond Bowie’s prolific output as a musical artist, the film will examine his work across a variety of art forms including dance, painting, sculpture, video and audio collage, screenwriting, acting, and live theatre. Morgen gained access to the Bowie archives in 2017 and proceeded to pour through thousands of hours of rare performance footage and over 500 assets from the artist’s collection.
Watch the trailer for the Moonage Daydream David Bowie documentary. The film will debut in IMAX theaters this fall before landing on HBO Max.
Moonage Daydream (Teaser)