Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars (1973)

PG   |    |  Documentary, Music


Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars (1973) Poster

The July 3rd, 1973 historic concert of the 'leper Messiah'. This was to be David Bowie's last concert with the Ziggy persona and the Spiders from Mars. A great medley of 'Wild Eyed Boy From... See full summary »


7.6/10
2,384

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  • Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars (1973)
  • Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars (1973)
  • Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars (1973)
  • Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars (1973)
  • Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars (1973)
  • Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars (1973)

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Director:

D.A. Pennebaker

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22 April 2013 | Red-Barracuda
7
| A time capsule from an alien world
This concert film is probably most famous for capturing a pivotal moment in music history. It is the last show that David Bowie performed under the Ziggy Stardust persona and the last time he was on stage with his backing band The Spiders From Mars. Seemingly his announcement near the end of the show stating that this was the final appearance was not only news to the audience but to the band as well!

The film takes the form mostly as straightforward concert footage. There is also some backstage material interspersed throughout which I think it would have been good to have had more of, seeing as it revealed a little bit more of what Bowie was like behind the mask. But as it was, the vast majority of material is taken from the concert. The approach taken is very stripped down and basic. There isn't really a lot of imagination in the approach but I guess the idea was to let the show speak for itself. Perhaps though it might have been better for a live performance by such a flamboyant performer as Bowie to be presented with a little more imagination. Sometimes, it's the audience reactions to the show that are truthfully the most interesting, seeing as some of his fans seem to be almost hyper-ventilating with emotion. Some of the costume changes now provoke a chuckle or two; although, in truth, I have always found the fashions of the 70's glam rock era to be absolutely catastrophic. But at the end of the day it is a time capsule film and in this sense it is interesting. Even if Bowie does feel the need to do a mime artistry routine.

The concert itself? One for Bowie devotees especially I would say, of which I am not one I have to admit. But I thought Mick Ronson was very good on guitar and they all do knock out the tunes with some energy. It was also interesting to hear a good version of The Velvet Underground's White Light/White Heat close the show.

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Documentary | Music

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