Remembering David Bowie - explore his career on film

11th January, 2016

We're saddened to hear the news of the death of David Bowie, an artist in every sense of the word, with an immeasurable influence across film and music. 

David Bowie made his name as a rock and roll pioneer in the 1960s and 1970s, his music experimenting with electronics, soul, funk and pop and leading him to collaborate with the likes of Queen and Mick Jagger.

However, Bowie has also had a glittering career on the silver screen, his performances as diverse as his musical output. Explore his work at your next club screening — these three titles are a great place to start. 

LabyrinthLabyrinth (U, 7+) - Bowie's most famous screen incarnation came as The Goblin King in this classic from Jim Henson's creature shop. His character which combines the showmanship and theatricality present in his music, as well as having arguably cinema's greatest wig!

Duration: 101mins
Year: 1986
Director (s): Jim Henson
Cast: Jennifer Connelly, David Bowie, Christopher Malcolm, Shelley Thompson, Toby Froud

As the old saying goes, be careful what you wish for, because it might just come true. Ask Labyrinth's Sarah - who tells her little brother she wants goblins to take him away, and then finds that they have done! In order to get him back, she has to find her way through a magical maze - one in which she comes across lots of strange creatures and tough challenges set for her by the Goblin King.

The PrestigeThe Prestige (12, 11+) - Chris Nolan's sci-fi thriller sees Bowie take on the role of legendary physicist Nikola Tesla. We don't want to give away too much as the film contains a dastardly twist, but needless to say, Tesla's experiments have a devious impact on the plot.

Duration: 125mins
Year: 2006
Director (s): Christopher Nolan
Cast: Hugh Jackman, Michael Caine, Christian Bale, Scarlett Johansson, David Bowie

Are you watching closely? If you are, the chances are that long after the closing credits have rolled, you'll still be dazzled by this ingenious thriller, in which two magicians working in the theatres of Victorian London become deadly rivals. It's a tale of obsession, death and teleportation, with haunting performances from Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale as the duelling illusionists. In the hands of director Christopher Nolan, who also made Batman Begins, the story itself becomes a giant magic trick - and the final twist will leave you open-mouthed with amazement.

BasquiatBasquiat (15, 14+) - An inspired piece of casting in this film sees Bowie as Andy Warhol. Unsurprisingly, the two knew each other from their time in New York, meaning Bowie's portrayal of Warhol has been hailed by many as the best. Bowie used Warhol's real wig, glasses and jacket for the film. 

Duration: 108mins
Director (s):
Julian Schnabel
Jeffrey Wright, Michael Wincott, Benicio Del Toro, David Bowie, Claire Forlani

Hailed as one of the greatest artists of his generation, Jean-Michel Basquiat had the art world of the early 1980s at his feet after he was discovered spray-painting graffiti around what were then the many slum buildings of downtown Manhattan. Soon becoming the toast of New York despite barely being out of his teens, Basquiat quickly became friends with the likes of Andy Warhol and fellow graffiti artist Keith Haring. Sadly, however, Basquiat paid a high price for fame - and this moving film tells his tragic but fascinating story.

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