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David Bowie: Finding Fame

  • 2019
  • Documentary and factual
  • News and current affairs

Summary

This is the David Bowie story you don’t know. The story of how David Robert Jones became David Bowie, how David Bowie became Ziggy Stardust and how Ziggy became immortal, changing the musical landscape as he did so. The story that finally makes sense of one of the greatest icons of the 20th and 21st centuries. Part three of Francis Whately’s Bowie trilogy.

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Review

The Riot Squad, the Konrads, the Buzz, the Lower Third: just some of the bands David Bowie performed with in his long search for success through the late 1960s. This glorious documentary weaves through that period, with eye-opening visuals (Bowie does mime! Badly!) and gorgeous, layered sounds from demos and interviews.

What comes across is how many times Bowie was knocked back: rejected by the BBC with one band; dropped by his record company; his first solo album peaking at number 125 in the charts. Every time he thought he’d got it made, the taste was… another flop.

His then girlfriend Hermione Farthingale suggests, “He wasn’t lost; he just wasn’t found, either.” She is interviewed for the first time here in a film no Bowie fan – no music fan of any sort, really – should miss, though it may lodge The Laughing Gnome in your head again.

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DirectorFrancis Whately
UnknownPhilip Dolling

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