David Bowie’s Beautifully Weird Short Film for ★ Has Arrived


Big week for DB. His new play, Lazarus, a pseudo-sequel to The Man Who Fell to Earth, which stars Michael C. Hall and Cristin Milioti, opened at the New York Theater Workshop yesterday; and today he premiered the single and short film for “★” (pronounced “Blackstar”), the title track off his upcoming album, which is slated for his birthday, January 8 (Happy 69th, Bowie!). As you would expect from the trailer, the video is beautifully weird, with notes that remind me of Labyrinth (gotta love a good Jen Connelly unibrow tribute), a scene from Julie Taymor's Titus, and that one time Rustin Cohle met carcosa.

The short was directed by music video vet Johan Renck, who is also behind The Last Panthers, the Sky TV show that uses "★" for its theme. At today's premiere at Nitehawk Cinema in Brooklyn — one of several free screenings — Renck told me he and Bowie definitely did not have carcosa or True Detective in mind when putting this epic 10-minute video together. They did, however, discuss the long uninterrupted shots in Tarkovsky films, Jodorowsky's Holy Mountain, and vintage stop-motion animation in Popeye cartoons, which helped inspire some of the manic shaking. Is the astronaut Major Tom, though? Maybe, he says. Watch for yourself and decide.