Ringrazio ancora una volta Salvatore Proietti per questa preziosissima segnalazione, riguardo David Bowie. Devo dire che il Duca Bianco mi lascia sempre più esterrefatto, la sua passione per l’occulto, così sembra, era notevole e proprio poche ore fa, riguardando i suoi ultimi video, è possibile ravvisare richiami a tutto il mondo oscuro, Lovecraft compreso, con un’ardore che non sembra essere solo frutto di arte, tanto più che Bowie sapeva di stare per morire, e si affidava a messaggi strani che parevano essere richieste di aiuto per quello che avrebbe vissuto nell’oltre.
In the 1966 short film, The Image, written and directed by Michael Armstrong, a young man (Michael Bryne) finishes a study for a portrait of a youth of about 16. The boy is depicted with an expression of longing on his face and his arms outstretched as if to embrace—or clutch—the viewer. No sooner does the artist step back to contemplate his work than the boy himself appears and wordlessly approaches him, gliding across rooms and hallways, a figure clearly not of this world.
The terrified artist attacks the invading apparition repeatedly and with increasing violence, first bashing in his skull with a classical bust and then stabbing him numerous times, all to no avail (save to garner the film itself an X rating). Finally the boy—who now appears to exist as multiple copies of himself—vanishes when the artist destroys his portrait. As the artist weeps over the remains of his painting, the camera pans to a photograph of the boy, smiling into the camera. The film’s script purported to be “a study of the illusionary reality world within the schizophrenic mind of the artist at his point of creativity,” but the boy—revenant, doppelganger, phantasm, clone, and finally pure image—is both the film’s driving force and a neat encapsulation of the aesthetic paradigm of David Bowie, whose first film appearance the role was.
When Bowie died earlier this year, two days after his 69th birthday and the release of his latest album, the shock was almost as unique as the artist. It felt less a case of a talent taken too soon—as did the passing of actor Alan Rickman a few weeks later at the same age—than the case of a talent taken at all. Bowie, surely—Ziggy Stardust, the Man Who Fell to Earth, the Thin White Duke, the Goblin King—was elven enough to be one of the true immortals.