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#TIFF22 Review: Moonage Daydream (Special Presentations)

September 19, 2022

By John Corrado

★★★½ (out of 4)

The 2022 Toronto International Film Festival ran from September 8th to 18th.

In Moonage Daydream, documentary filmmaker Brett Morgan weaves an exciting and highly cinematic portrait of late music and queer icon David Bowie. The film blends concert footage with old interviews to offer a compelling window into Bowie’s mind and genius as a songwriter and performer, from his more experimental early music, to his more mainstream forays, and darkly spiritual later work.

As such, Moonage Daydream offers scenes of Bowie performing iconic songs like “All the Young Dudes,” “Starman,” “Heroes” and of course the title track – footage that is still just as thrilling as it ever was – with curated clips from past interviews in which he talks about his life and philosophies. Bowie discusses a belief in a sort of love and energy that he won’t classify as God, as well cavalier attitudes towards bisexuality and cross-dressing that were radically upfront for the 1970s.

Like how Morgan’s previous music documentary Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck compellingly took us inside the tortured mind of its main subject, Moonage Daydream offers a riveting look at Bowie in all of his brilliance and complexity. This is not your standard bio-doc, but rather a powerful visual symphony (optimized for IMAX theatres, no less, with special screenings in the format), and the experience is all the better for it. Bowie fans are in for a real treat.

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