The Man Who Fell to Earth

Der Mann, der vom Himmel fiel
David Bowie also pursued his playful exploration of different persona on the big screen. Here he embodies a humanoid-reptilian extra-terrestrial in a fedora hat and an elegant suit on the search for water for his desert planet. Possessed of an especially sophisticated intelligence, he quickly sees through the mechanisms of power and business and founds a company, World Enterprises, with which he plans to build a space ship to return to his planet. At the same time he is particularly susceptible to human emotions, his other-worldly facial expressions become softer, and his look saddens. In an inhumane environment which subjects him to base experiments and is only interested in money, he appears more human than the humans.
It is quite possible to read Nicolas Roeg’s melancholy science fiction film as an illustrated continuation of David Bowie’s albums. To pay tribute to this artistic all-rounder who had so many faces, the Berlinale is once again showing this cult film that has since become a classic and which first screened in Competition at the festival in 1976.
by Nicolas Roeg
with David Bowie, Rip Torn, Candy Clark, Buck Henry
United Kingdom 1976 139’

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