The live concert footage that composes a majority of the feature--filmed by the renowned D.A. Pennebaker on July 3, 1973--is a glittery sound bite of the Flower Child's death knell (braids and beards falling to an androgynous "hazy cosmic" jive-talking Brit), a snapshot of an artist on the cusp of superstardom or, if you like, simply a kick-ass rock show.
Bowie's Spiders remain his most charged backers, with the late, great guitarist Mick Ronson stalking the stage in a fashion that surely gave Nigel Tufnel wet dreams, and ruling numbers like "Width of a Circle" and "Hang Onto Yourself." Backstage access is also granted, as we're privy to several of Bowie's elaborate costume changes, but the stage is the place with Ziggy's acoustic-only cover of Jacques Brel's "My Death" sparkling like a dark jewel within the set.
This is the stuff of legend now, of course, and Ziggy ultimately cast a shadow from which Bowie himself has yet to fully emerge. Always a temporary Lodger and an artful dodger, his "murder" of the character that July night only accelerated his creative impulses, but as far as launching pads go, the glam-rock Pied Poseur will forever be the apple of Bowie's geometrically opposed eyes. A luscious new print of the film is available, and it's the version you'll see this weekend...larger than life and priced at vintage concert rates.