Previously at the ICA - Films

Still: Cracked Actor, Dir. Alan Yentob, UK, 1974

Bowiefest presents: Cracked Actor: Alan Yentob in conversation with Jeremy Deller

2 Sep 2012

For this talk which closes Bowiefest, Alan Yentob joins us in conversation with artist Jeremy Deller about the influential BBC Omnibus documentary, Cracked Actor, which follows an alienated Bowie during the Diamond Dogs tour of America in 1974.

Cracked Actor was filmed at a prolific time in Bowie's recording and acting career. The documentary depicts a drug-addled and fragile Bowie on tour in Los Angeles, using a mixture of documentary sequences filmed in limousines and hotels, and concert footage. Most of the concert footage was taken from a show at the Los Angeles Universal Amphitheatre on 2 September 1974. There are also excerpts from D.A. Pennebaker's concert film Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, as well as a few other performances from the tour. Songs include Space Oddity, Cracked Actor, Sweet Thing/Candidate, Moonage Daydream, The Width of a Circle, Aladdin Sane, Time, Diamond Dogs and John, I'm Only Dancing (Again). The documentary is cited by Nic Roeg as the reason for him casting Bowie as Thomas Jerome Newton in The Man Who Fell To Earth.

Yentob has said that he will be remembered for the Bowie documentary above everything else in his long career at the BBC, and Deller professes to be a huge Bowie fan, having produced a series of artworks emblazoned with ‘GOD BLESS DAVID BOWIE’.

Director: Alan Yentob, UK, 1974, 53 mins

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