Södra Sveriges största arthousebiograf!

Ziggy Stardust and The Spiders from Mars + inledning
Datum: Fre 1 apr, 2016

Visningen inleds av Martin Theander - musik-journalist, DJ och Bowie-fan.

Visas endast 1-7 april! Vår hyllning till en av världens största artister - David Bowie (1947-2016). Missa inte chansen att se denna filmen på stor duk.

David Bowies sista konsert som ZIGGY STARDUST, på Hammersmith Odeon den 3 juli 1973 där han sätter agendan för glamrocken. The Spiders from Mars utgörs här av hela åtta musiker, inklusive den legendariske Mick Ronson på gitarr.

I början av 1972 hade Bowie antagit sitt alter ego Ziggy Stardust. En science fiction-baserad, teatralisk, gåtfull, androgyn karaktär som under en kort men kreativ period - av många ansedd som Bowies bästa och viktigaste - skapade två lysande album: "The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and The Spiders from Mars" (1972) och "Aladdin Sane" (1973). I juli 1973 hade Bowie turnerat nästan ett år utan avbrott och en USA-turné var bokad för hösten. Mycket få personer kände i förväg till Bowies beslut att släppa karaktären Ziggy Stardust, han hade berättat till managern Tony DeFries och i bandet bara till Mick Ronson.

Bland låtarna i filmen finns tidlösa Bowie-klassiker som "Changes", "All the Young Dudes", "Space Oddity", "Ziggy Stardust", "Rock´n`Suicide", "Oh! YOU Pretty Things", "Suffragette City" ...kompletterat med lysande covers av Jacques Brels "My Death", Jagger/Richards "Let´s Spend the Night Together" och Lou Reeds "White Light/White Heat".



I was drifting on a raft on the Mississippi river, filming some friends when I got a message from my office that RCA wanted to talk to me about a very important project, to film a half-hour of a David Bowie concert in London, but I had to be there by the next weekend. It seemed that RCA had invented a new video disc, called SELECT-A-VISION and I was to make a half-hour film of the Bowie concert to record on it as a sample of the new technology. A half-hour was all they needed, or could use. A half hour. It seemed a long way to go for such a short film. With two days to find cameramen and equipment capable of this sort of filmmaking, I found myself ticketed to London with my eldest daughter, Stacy, as producer and my friend Jim Desmond, who had almost singlehandedly immortalized Jimi Hendrix at Monterey, as a cameraman. I also managed to get hold of a young filmmaker, Nick Doob, whose first film I had seen and liked a lot, Franken, who I knew could shoot a camera but whose work was virtually unknown to me. There was also the possibility of getting someone in London with a camera and a tripod.

When we finally got to the airport, we discovered there was an airline strike and hundreds of people were waiting around for their flights. But there didn’t seem to any planes. As the night wore on it became clear to me that there weren’t going to be any planes, and that the only things flying were a lot of unreliable rumors. So we scrounged around and found a bunch of tourists charterbound for Europe, whom we fell in with, casually sneaking on their plane, which unfortunately was bound not for London where we were supposed to be the next day but Rome. When the plane landed the next morning at Fiumicino Airport, our tourist companions were whisked away by bus and we were left surrounded by our camera bags on the tarmac outside the terminal. Stacy, by now a travel-hardened producer whispered in my ear. “ Dad, why are those men pointing machine guns at us?” We were indeed being encircled by a number of gun-bearing officials signaling us to follow them. There had been an assault on the airport recently and with our surplus army bags filled with cameras we did not look like the average group of American tourists. In fact I could see that we looked every bit like a group of insurgents headed for arrest. In the terminal it was made clear to me that they were going to put all our bags through an X-ray machine and if there were any odd looking metal objects inside we would have to take everything out for examination. Meanwhile, Stacy got us ticketed on a plane due to leave in about an hour which we would be lucky to make even without the delay of a thorough search of our bags. As we paraded our clunky bags past a very professional looking machine I was astonished to see that there was no sign of alarm, and no flashing lights signaled any sort of undesirable metal contents. As I pushed the last bag through the X-ray device and hurried to catch our flight, which was already warming up, I saw the attendant ruefully kick the machine. That’s when I noticed it wasn’t plugged in.

In London we hurried to the Hammersmith Odeon, where the next-to-the-last concert was about to take place. The following night‘s concert we were informed would be the very last concert of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars, a bit on which we were sworn to secrecy by manager Tony De Fries, who assured us that only Bowie himself knew this and would reveal it to the audience sometime during the final performance.

That night we filmed bits of the concert, as well as the audience to check the lighting. It was an incredibly exciting concert experience, a long way from the Dylan concerts I had filmed for Donf Look Back. And Bowie himself was stunning. I have never seen anyone turn on an audience, men as well as women, the way he did that night. The minute he strode out on stage I could see that he was a character looking for a film. Everything was right, costumes, music, lyrics, makeup, and that spectacular audience. I was struck by their almost choreographic attention to the songs. They clearly knew every word to each song and even had their own additions that created a brilliant interaction between Bowie and the crowd.

So after the show we raced over to a Lab to get our tests processed and see what was what. The show was almost perfectly lit the way it was, but the audience was a little dark and I knew they needed to be a huge part of the film, so early the next morning we watched the crowds of kids gather outside the theater and I arranged to have signs put up that asked everyone to bring their flash bulb cameras and take as many pictures as they could. This illuminated the audience a little more and gave them a constant presence in the film, so that when our cameras were turned on Bowie, you could still feel the crowd with their persistent flashing of cameras. Later we would notice that one of our film magazines was flaking tiny bits of magnesium onto the film, leaving tiny bits of glitter here and there, which looked quite beautiful and which we hailed as glitter chrome, our newest contribution to Glam Rock filmmaking.

When we got back to New York we processed the first half-hour of the concert for the RCA disc, and tried to figure out a way for David to mix the sound tracks, which were on a multitrack tape. RCA turned over its gigantic fourth floor studio and had an engineer at Ampex design a device to match multitrack audio to the projected film but it didn’t work and after a few fruitless hours of trying to synch up the picture, David gave up and we all went back to our drawing boards. What we finally did was mix down the multitrack without film and then to lay it into the film take by take. It wasn’t easy but luckily we only had to do it for the half-hour Selectavision disc.

But I really wanted to make a full-length feature out of the concert, and I needed to figure out how to mix all those bloody tracks, while watching the film. There was also the problem of how to pay for such an undertaking. Half-hour films are one thing, and RCA had paid for that, but a two hour feature film with four track Dolby sound is quite another. I tried to get hold of David but he’d disappeared into the great Midwest and although I got occasional calls from small towns suggesting that I fly out and we’d mix the tracks at a radio station he knew about, I could see that I was going to have to do it on my own. Firstly I needed to get the rest of the film processed, and in a hurry because reversal will turn red if left unprocessed for too long. I got hold of a friend who worked at the Daily News film lab which did their TV news film. We made an arrangement whereby I would deliver so many rolls of film and some money in a paper bag by way of a bar we both knew of and would pick up processed film and work print when it was ready.

The film looked beautiful and I began editing, but the sound mix was another matter. There simply weren’t any sound studios that could mix film tracks the way record companies mixed their records. Film mix studios mixed mono tracks and they did it very well but here I had sixteen tracks which I had to bring down to four if I wanted to have the film in Dolby, which after the success of Monterey I knew was mandatory. The answer was overwhelming but I saw no other way and proceeded to get two studio wirers to come in and together we designed and wired a simple console capable of mixing the 16 original tracks down to a four track master from which I could make a stereo or four track Dolby sound track. The console took almost six months to complete but when it was done I was able to mix the whole thing in about a week. When I put five speakers around my little screening room, which was about the size of a single car garage, the effect was incredible. I would have screenings several times a week and it was clear that this was an amazing film experience. So I got hold of a small portable projector that could interlock a 16mm film with a stereo track, and started showing it at places like Yale and Buffalo to a large audience just to see if I was on the right track. Was I! It was such a success that I could have gone on the road with that setup and shown that film all over the country. Probably all over the world.

When ABC heard about it they wanted to run it as a “Movie of the Week”. This was big time, so I checked with David and De Fries who said do it. There turned out though, to be a problem with ABC. They were nervous about the references to death and suicide that David would sing about from time to time and requested that I edit them out, which I reluctantly agreed to do. When I told David about this he suggested that we beep each of the edits figuring that when ABC heard the effect they might cancel the edits. So when the network producers heard the annoying beeps they weren’t happy but they were more concerned with their legal liability so they decided to go with the edited version. I was determined to show the film with a stereo track which in those days was broadcast on a separate FM station at the same time as the film was being shown. I arranged with the FM network and provided a stereo track for the FM channels to run, but of course I neglected to beep these tracks, so that anyone who heard the sound on their FM radio heard the true and irreverent Ziggy Stardust. As I never heard any complaints from the network I assumed that none of them ever listened to FM radio. The show was a big hit and letters came in from all over the country, but it was only a one-time airing.

My dream of getting to a big audience wasn’t complete. I knew that I had to get it into theaters, where the picture would be big and the sound fantastic. It was the same problem we had with Monterey Pop. The audience for it was there. We just had to get to them. What I had to do was make a 35mm theatrical version with my four track Dolby sound and find a theater to run it. A big theater with really good sound. I received an invitation to bring some of my work to Edinburgh for their annual film festival and of course that was it. I knew they had a wonderful theater there and the film would be considered a sort of avant-garde musical event. The minute the word of the showing got out, the lid was off. Everyone who had been at the Odeon or even heard about that eventful concert showed up and brought two friends, so that evening when I got to the theater expecting a polite audience of film buffs, there was this incredible theater filled to overflowing with the very fans that we had filmed. It was a gigantic deja-vue. I couldn’t imagine a wilder opening night and I hadn’t planned any of it. I think it was one of the all time great screenings I’ve ever sat through, and Chris, my new partner, was there with me -well it’s no exaggeration to say that Edinburgh will always be one of my favorite places in the world.

// D. A. Pennebaker

Datum: Fre 1 apr, 2016

kl 18:15

Regissör: D. A. Pennebaker
Land: Storbritannien
År: 1973
Längd: 90 minuter
Språk: Engelska
Genre: Musikdokumentär
Åldersgräns: Från 15 år
Skådespelare / Medverkande: David Bowie, Mick Ronson, Trevor Bolder, Mick Woodmansey, Ken Fordham, Brian Wilshaw, Geoffrey MacCormack, John 'Hutch' Hutchinson, Mike Garson, Angela Bowie, Ringo Starr m fl.
Premiär: 1 apr
IMDb: Se filmen på IMDB  

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Arrangör: Folkets Bio Malmö, ABF Malmö.

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