David Bowie’s ‘The Man Who Fell To Earth’ Headed Back to Movie Theaters, Home Video
To celebrate its 40th anniversary, the David Bowie film The Man Who Fell To Earth will return to select movie theaters this fall. The science fiction drama, which has undergone a total 4K restoration process, will debut in cinemas throughout England on September 9.
The re-release of the film has been in the works since 2015, and has been executed by StudioCanal. The film's new lease on life is based on a 4K scan of the original camera negative. The restoration has received the approval of original cinematographer Anthony Richmond. Studio Canal will also be issuing the film on DVD and Blu-ray later in the year, with plans for an eventual worldwide release.
Based on the 1963 novel by Walter Tevis, The Man Who Fell To Earth tells the tale of an alien, Thomas Jerome Newton, who makes his way to Earth in search of water for his drought stricken planet. Upon its initial release, famed movie critic Roger Ebert gave it 2.5 stars, but made a reassessment in 2011. "As science-fiction films go, this is a unique one," he said. "It focuses on character and implied ideas, not on plot and special effects. It’s very much a product of the 1970s, when idiosyncratic directors deliberately tried to make great films. A production of this style is almost unthinkable today; it’s too challenging and abstract for the Friday night mobs and requires too much thought."
In an interview earlier this year following Bowie's passing, his co-star in the film, actress Candy Clark (American Graffiti), recalled the making of the film. “David wasn’t a person who ever expressed what he was feeling,” Clark told Variety. “He never revealed anything he was feeling, such as ‘I’m so nervous,’ so you never knew what was going on inside him. Plus, he only spent time with what I would call ‘his entourage.’ So outside of acting together, we never had dinner or spent any non-working time together. He was very removed and quiet and of course this was perfect for me, because my character, Mary-Lou, (his lover) never knew what was going on inside Thomas Newton.”
The Nicolas Roeg film premiered in 1976 in a very limited showing. Originally, the film was rejected by Paramount Studios, who claimed it was far different from the novel. Bowie, who was coming off a fairly large cocaine habit at the time, has claimed he barely remembers making the film, but he didn't let his demons get in the way. “David vowed to Nic, ‘No drug use,’’ said Clark. remembering him as "clear as a bell, focused, friendly and professional and leading the team. Look at David, his skin is luminescent. He’s gorgeous, angelic, heavenly. He was absolutely perfect as the man from another planet.”
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