Brett Morgen’s Moonage Daydream is an intimate and psychedelic look at David Bowie’s life and career. Its abstract nature and artistic style let the audience immerse themselves into Bowie’s creativity and emotions that described the criticisms he received for his striking art and fashionable wardrobe. It’s charming and sometimes challenging to grasp what Morgen is trying to achieve with this documentary. However, since the documentary dives into Bowie’s artistic integrity and legendary status, it shows exactly what his career has always been described as. Wild, free, and creative in many ways possible, Moonage Daydream is an experimental documentary that celebrates Bowie’s life and artistry.
The documentary uses archival material, live performances and interview footage sequenced together to show Bowie’s celebratory montages. His unique artistry and gender diversity — the ability to express himself freely — have always been what makes him special. Through his sense of fashion, he was able to get across to many of his fans and even in the documentary, the young people of the yesteryears were enamoured by him. The first half of the documentary spends a lot of time describing Bowie’s out-of-the-world fashion. In this interview footage, many hosts ask him about his makeup. It’s the ’70s. It’s quite unusual for men at that period to be wearing makeup, Bowie changed the game. His ecstatic young fans became Bowie. At that time, it was difficult to express themselves, Bowie’s artistry allowed him and his young fans to change their faces to look like him.
Moonage Daydream is a true sentiment of Bowie’s career. Even though the documentary doesn’t dig too deep into his personal life, it touches on his tense relationship with his mother and half-brother. However, the documentary never tries to lose sight of the version of Bowie Morgen wants to show to the audience. The documentary shows the part of Bowie that has always been available for public spectacle. The Bowie who is available on the surface but never revealed too much for everyone to see.
Throughout his career and lifetime, Bowie was never afraid to experiment with his talents and creativity. His curiosity to try new aesthetics ended during the late ’70s. But his adventures never stopped. Bowie released his final album, “Blackstar,” two days before his death in 2016. Even though his stardom might have dimmed, Bowie has never failed to experiment and absorb the arts and music. Moonage Daydream is directed exactly like Bowie’s artistry. The types of energy and creativity are ever present even when the documentary ends.