Starring David Bowie as a extraterrestrial stranger, Nicolas Roeg's famously strange foray into science fiction is also one of Bowie's most notable on screen performances. After he lands in New Mexico, Thomas Jerome Newton (Bowie) uses his alien intelligence to become incredibly wealthy with the aim to send water to his dry home in the stars. As he spends time on earth Newton becomes entangled with a variety of colorful characters, including a hotel employee played by Candy Clark and a licentious scientist played by the great Rip Torn, as he becomes more and more ruined by earthly pleasures. Roeg's very dreamy, very 1970s, look at Earth, unanchored by plot, character, or time is remembered mostly for Bowie's tragic and otherworldly performance as Newton. This screening is dedicated to the genius musician's recent passing.
"Bowie has an enviable urbane charm...Apart from a few moments involving special effects, he and Roeg make no overt attempt to show Newton as particularly alien. They simply use his presence. He is ... Other. Apart. Defined within himself." -Roger Ebert
"Man's open-endedness leaves it subject to all varieties of interpretation, but at heart, it tells one of the simplest stories around. Stripped of his disguise, Bowie looks every inch the alien, but by the end, he's tragically human." - Keith Phipps