Wednesday, 13 January 2016

David Bowie, Cracked Actor

Revisiting the incredible songs of my cruelly extinguished guiding light, David Bowie, I was reminded how the lyrics to his 'Quicksand' have such resonance with Hamlet's famous 'To be or not to be..' soliloquy. 

"I'm torn between the light and dark
Where others see their targets
Divine symmetry
Should I kiss the viper's fang
Or herald loud
the death of Man
I'm sinking in the quicksand
of my thought
And I ain't got the power anymore..."

..and this led me to realise that I've never watched the 1974 Alan Yentob documentary about Bowie, 'Cracked Actor'. So I've just watched it. It opens with Quicksand. And there are scenes from his Cracked Actor persona with him holding a skull in Hamlet mode. Like Stephen Dedalus in James Joyce's Ulysses, who is also obsessed by Hamlet, in this film Bowie comes across as a deeply conflicted young man, who almost knows too much...

It's a wonderful, wonderful documentary, check it out - vintage, perfect Bowie: