Had Everything Everywhere All At Once not already been a taken title in 2022, it certainly could have applied to Moonage Daydream — documentarian Brett Morgen’s latest kaleidoscopic collage of sound and vision, here applied to the late, great icon David Bowie.
Serving as director, writer, editor and producer, Morgen pilots a dizzying odyssey through Bowie’s creative, sartorial and social adventures across numerous decades. While the film gives a bit of short shrift to Bowie’s later period (and, as such, third-act album gems like Outside, Reality or The Next Day), it nevertheless captures the Thin White Duke at his most intriguing, influential and incandescent points. It also doesn’t lose site of its apotheosis en route to depicting Bowie’s death in a manner that fits the once-in-a-lifetime observance all of us gave to him.
If there’s any complaint about Moonage Daydream, it’s an avoidance of much of Bowie’s familial efforts; given the thesis of a man trying to find his multifaceted place in the universe, it feels bizarre. Certainly, Morgen is all about the art’s filthy lesson. Still, it’s one of the most immersive audiovisual experiences you’re ever going to have — simultaneously an enveloping, evocative supposition of what it would be like to be inside Bowie’s brain as his synapses fired on all cylinders and the next best thing to being in the front row to see Bowie in his prime.
While no home-theater presentation can approximate the towering scope of Moonage Daydream‘s IMAX presentation (one of the format’s best-ever), Criterion’s Blu-ray package pushes the pinnacle of what’s possible in your living room. Morgen has supervised the 4K digital master here, which includes soundtracks in both sky-soaring Dolby Atmos and sturdy stereo. Although there is also a 4K Blu-ray version available, Blu-ray generally suffices given the varying quality of Morgen’s video source. The audio is where it’s at here, and the Blu-ray more than delivers as it should.
Extras include: a feature-length commentary with Morgen; a Q&A with Morgen, filmmaker Mark Romanek and pianist Mike Garson (who worked with Bowie among many others) at the TCL Chinese Theatre in Hollywood; an interview with re-recording mixers David Giammarco and Paul Massey; the film’s trailer; an essay by film critic Jonathan Romney; a collectible poster insert; and a new cover by Empire Design.