Mars Attacks

While it's no longer the revolutionary tranifesto it may have been, D.A. Pennebaker's 1973 concert film (first released in 1983) captures David Bowie's meticulous identity quest with all the frenetic energy (read: slop) of a wildlife documentary on drugs. What this means for you, viewer and/or fan, is that the camerawork sucks eggs from here to London's Hammersmith Odeon. Foci slip maddeningly, and attempted zooms completely miss their targets. However, this is also the best available film of one of this master showman's several creative peaks--a peep show into the past, complete with vintage Ringo Starr appearance--and few contemporary acts could hold a candle to the set list: "Changes," "Crack'd Actor," the immortal title song, et cetera. The muddy but brilliant sound of Ziggy and his Spiders (Mick Ronson, Trevor Bolder, Mick Woodmansy) has been remixed by longtime Bowie producer Tony Visconti, and Bowie's theatrical vision is deservedly legendary. How could anyone hope to control a camera in the presence of a minor deity?

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