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ziggfried
(acolyte)
07/12/05 11:23 AM
Nicolas Roeg new  

“On The Man Who Fell To Earth, we had a scene where David Bowie first arrives on Earth and walks into town; it's completely empty, things blowing. I couldn't believe this, but there was a children's fairground, with a big bouncy clown thing bouncing around. We had David cross the road and we followed him from behind, and this bouncing clown lost its cables and started bouncing towards him. I looked sideways, and there was a man who'd been lying in one of these torpedoes in a fairground ride. He staggered out of the torpedo towards David and kind of belched in front of him. And that was Mr Newton's first contact with human beings. Fantastic. He was completely baffled. I used that belch at the end too. You can't write that stuff in. So I shoot a lot of stuff. I think that's probably come from not having gone to film school. Things work themselves out. You've lost the showmanship thing, the fairground barker, come-see-what's-inside aspect of film-making when you try to plan everything for the audience.”

Nicolas Roeg, The Guardian, 3 June 2005



ziggfried
(acolyte)
07/12/05 11:25 AM
Re: Nicolas Roeg [re: ziggfried]  

“I like the idea of human terms of alienation. But it's also about human secrecy. The lover's oldest question is: "What are you thinking, darling?", then "What are you really thinking?" In that scene, Mary Lou and Mr Newton had been together for a while, and though she thought that he was a bit strange and odd, she had no idea where he came from. Sure he was an alien, but he wasn't a monster. She didn't know that on his planet, it had been planned that he would come to Earth and be among humans, but that they didn't get things quite right with his body. And so when she says that he can tell her anything, which in the human context means "You can tell me anything and I'll still love you," and he shows her his method of making love - by exchanging bodily fluids on a grand scale - of course she recoils.

“Then afterwards, when she approaches him on the bed and he starts oozing again and she recoils again, then he goes back to being human and keeps the secret. And it interested me tremendously, especially with David Bowie. People said, he's an extraordinary artist but, and producers were especially interested only in this one thing, can he act? He is Mr Newton. He's a tremendous performer, he's sung on stage in front of 20,000 people. But it suddenly struck me, when he told me that it was a very important step for him and asked what I wanted for the role, that the best thing I could tell him was that I didn't know who Mr Newton was either. So I told him, "You'll help me by not knowing either. Just do it, say the part". And it was strange - it was better than acting. He was it. He may have been slightly clumsy, and somebody else might have been more together but training would have stopped it. It wouldn't have had the authenticity of the alien, without anything except who he was. It especially worked with the CIA people and the politicians in the film - he didn't know what they were talking about. You can't learn everything by watching TV. So the alien does not appear to be alien, but is in fact more alien than if he'd had a big head. So the throwing away of the alien disguise was rather like exposing yourself emotionally.”

Nicolas Roeg, The Guardian, 3 June 2005



ziggfried
(acolyte)
10/05/05 11:30 AM
Re: Nicolas Roeg new [re: ziggfried]  

"When I started The Man Who Fell To Earth with David, people came up to me and said - 'It's a great idea, but can he act.' I said 'Well, what do you think he does in front of ten thousand people at the Hollywood Bowl - That isn't him!'"

Nicolas Roeg (1983), cited in David Bowie: The Starzone Interviews (1985)



ziggfried
(acolyte)
10/07/05 10:30 AM
Re: Nicolas Roeg new [re: ziggfried]  

“The film was written and I never cast people until the script is ready, then I sit back and ask myself ‘Who are these people?’ I never have the characters described, I prefer to let the scenes form the character rather than neat descriptions.

I believe in odd omens, and there had been a BBC programme about David which I had seen [‘Cracked Actor’] – I remember phoning Paul [Mayersberg] who managed to catch the last few minutes. The I obtained a tape of the programme to look at Bowie. It wasn’t his music, I guess it was his approach to life which appealed to me. It was one of the few programmes of its kind that didn’t disappoint me in the person – it didn’t give away the person nor did it give the impression that he was trying to be overly secretive. He had a quality which made me interested in him. He was giving and secretive in the best possible way. He wasn’t secretive for the reason of hiding something but secretive because that part of him hadn’t been fully understood by himself, so as not to blurt about it until it was even vaguely understood.

After seeing the programme I was certain that David could be Mr. Newton.”

Nicolas Roeg, David Bowie: The Starzone Interviews (1985)



ziggfried
(acolyte)
10/07/05 10:30 AM
Re: Nicolas Roeg new [re: ziggfried]  

“I then flew to New York and we spent a long evening together talking about generalities. David had quite wisely said ‘Well, let’s just talk about things.’ Just things. To see it we could spend months working together.

As I left, he said ‘Don’t worry, I’m going to do this’ and I proceeded along those lines. There’s not many people I would proceed with on that basis – Nothing was signed, he was under no contractual obligation but I had a sense of trust from him. People thought I was crazy – I phoned him only twice afterwards and everyone was saying ‘What is he suddenly decides against doing the movie?’ – But he said ‘I’ll do it’ with such sincerity that I totally believed in him. And then when shooting began, David arrived with a huge grin and simply said ‘I told you I’d be here, didn’t I?’

It was a strength of a kind. He had made the decision. We go through life with half-arsed decisions around us. We tend to accept that promises will be broken. We look at a sense of honour in a different way.

With David the sense of honour was real, like the old days in the war when people would say ‘Don’t worry, I won’t leave this bunker. This is the plight we’re in together.’

I guess this is why some people think that David is cold. But he can’t do everything for everyone. The things he says yes to he commits himself to totally.”

Nicolas Roeg, David Bowie: The Starzone Interviews (1985)



ziggfried
(acolyte)
10/07/05 10:31 AM
Re: Nicolas Roeg new [re: ziggfried]  

“[Bowie] was always very interested [in film directing] but he had his part to fulfill and he was very conscious of that. He had the wit and intelligence to concentrate on his role. He wasn’t a student from a film school, he was the central character, but the interest was there and as we became friendly he told me that he wanted to direct films. We had a very good actor/director relationship.

The respect that had begun that night in New York. I hope that’s what he felt for me because I certainly felt it for him.”

Nicolas Roeg, David Bowie: The Starzone Interviews (1985)



ziggfried
(acolyte)
10/07/05 10:31 AM
Re: Nicolas Roeg new [re: ziggfried]  

“I remember taking a tape [of the completed film] and that [Bowie] was moved, to tears actually, but I can’t remember his actual words. There was a natural embarrassment as well. ‘Did we do that?’ ‘Do you like that’ and so on. That’s genuine stuff, a warmth that flows between you and your participant. Just the same as when you can tell if someone doesn’t like it. ‘Oh, very good. I’ll call you in the morning.’”

Nicolas Roeg, David Bowie: The Starzone Interviews (1985)



ziggfried
(acolyte)
10/07/05 10:32 AM
Re: Nicolas Roeg new [re: ziggfried]  

“Yes, I would [like to work with Bowie again]. We have one of those pleasant friendships that has gone on without much contact. I know he knows that I watch and listen to what he’s up to and I flatter myself to think that he does the same with me.

The odd times that we have met or talked again have been at the same place. It is one of those rare associations. We have our lives to lead but we have made a mark on each other.

It would truly diminish my life if I sensed that he wasn’t around any more and thinking of things.

If the time and place is right I would like to work with David again, but not to create a superficial kind of product."

Nicolas Roeg, David Bowie: The Starzone Interviews (1985)



ziggfried
(acolyte)
12/21/05 10:25 AM
Re: Nicolas Roeg new [re: ziggfried]  

“It seemed Bowie was slightly to one side of pop star, just like Dylan…He was coming in from leftfield, using a lot of odd disguises and dressing up. Watching him in the limo talking [in Cracked Actor], I noticed the artificial voice. It wasn’t definable as a brogue or accent. It was English, but you couldn’t tell exactly where from. It was all quite curious.”

Nicolas Roeg, Uncut #103, December 2005



ziggfried
(acolyte)
12/21/05 10:25 AM
Re: Nicolas Roeg new [re: ziggfried]  

“Bowie arrived in New Mexico in the same limo as in Cracked Actor, so we used it in the film and cast his driver [Tony Mascia], too. I was curious not to disturb him at all. There were certain people who were concerned about his unconventionality as an actor, wondering if he was being used as some sort of gimmick. Some executives even suggested lip-synching another voice over Bowie’s. I just said, “Are you mad? His voice is it!” Every time someone mentioned how curious his delivery was, it pleased me more and more.”

Nicolas Roeg, Uncut #103, December 2005




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