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THE MAN WHO FELL TO EARTH

Director: NICOLAS ROEG

138 mins, UK, 1976, Digital


This film was released 9th September 2016, and is no longer screening.

IFI CLASSIC

★★★★★ – The Guardian

Remastered to coincide with the film’s 40th anniversary, Nicolas Roeg’s The Man Who Fell to Earth is an adaptation of Walter Tevis’ 1963 sci-fi novel of the same name. In his first major film role, David Bowie plays an alien who travels to Earth in order to transport water back to his own drought-ridden planet. In human form, Bowie’s extraterrestrial is an elegant, well-spoken Englishman called Newton, a pale, slender and glassy-eyed entrepreneur with an unquenchable thirst.

After enlisting a lawyer to help him establish a multi-million dollar corporation, Newton builds himself a lavish, secluded home in New Mexico where he lives with Mary-Lou, a guileless gin drinker mostly accepting of her partner’s more bizarre tendencies. The kind of dark, surreal filmmaking we don’t see enough of today and featuring an otherworldly, melancholic central role that only Bowie could embody, this is science fiction cinema that’s both poetic and alluring. (Notes by Alice Butler.)

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