Today marks the 69th birthday of one of my favorite artists, David Bowie. To celebrate here on Cardigans & Cravats, I present Bowie's first film appearance. Though filmed in 1967, it was not released until 1969, The Image, is dark, haunting, a bit surrealist, and beautiful. The film features two characters: the artist (Michael Bryne) and a painting, whose subject (David Bowie) has the ability to emerge from the work of art.
The Image was shot in just three days and features the struggle between the artist and his art, which turns into a violent nature. This aspect of the film is why The Image is one of the few shorts to receive an "X" rating - a rating that would greatly differ today; it would probably receive a PG-13 rating.
The film is said to be inspired by Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray, but instead of a painting haunting the subject, The Image features the subject haunting the artist. Apparently the cover of the script described the short as "a study of the illusionary reality world within the schizophrenic mind of the artist at his point of creativity."
The film runs around 13 minutes and has no dialogue and a minimal soundtrack that supports the tension, the madness, and the horror that is played out The Image. I hope you will take time to view the small segment below and celebrate all that is David Bowie: singer, writer, performer, painter, musician, fashion icon, producer, creator... artist, image.