It was Bowie’s first film role. Director Nic Roeg realised Bowie was perfect for the lead role when he happened to catch the singer’s edgy appearance in tour documentary Cracked Actor. Here’s a shot of a Bowie with the clapperboard from the set.
2house of card
Bowie’s sessions for the soundtrack took place in late ’75, following the recording of ‘Station To Station’. Speaking in 2007, arranger Paul Buckmaster, who was involved in the sessions, said he didn’t think the music produced was “really what Roeg was looking for”. In ’77 Bowie sent a copy of ‘Low’ to Roeg with a note attached which said: ‘This is what I wanted to do for the film’.
In an on-set interview with Creem Bowie said: “Working with Nic is nice because we get on well, we understand one another. There’s a marvelous chemistry between us. He’s very sensitive to everything that’s going on. He’s brilliant.” Here’s a shot of Roeg, Bowie and son Duncan Jones.
Filming did not go smoothly. Cameras were jammed for no reason, rowdy Hell’s Angels interrupted filming of a scene on an old Aztec burial ground and Bowie was ill for two days after drinking contaminated milk. Here’s Bowie in full ‘alien’ costume.
In 1999, Roeg said: “With The Man Who Fell To Earth I wanted to get rid of any sense of time, because it’s surprising how often we mention it in our lives.” Here he is with Bowie and Candy Clark.