In Depth

Starman: David Bowie hits the big screen once again

To commemorate its 40th anniversary, sci-fi drama The Man Who Fell to Earth will be re-released in cinemas across the UK

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Poignantly, the year that witnessed the tragic passing of the great David Bowie also marks 40 years since the UK release of The Man Who Fell to Earth, the sci-fi drama featuring the singer's era-defining lead performance. To mark the anniversary, StudioCanal is releasing a new digitally remastered 4K restoration of the classic, which was in the works before Bowie's untimely death.

The cult science-fiction odyssey, with Bowie in his debut feature role as an alien with superior intelligence, was directed by Nicolas Roeg – well-known for his extraordinary film Don't Look Now.

The Man Who Fell to Earth still resonates four decades later. As a corrosive portrait of the ways of the modern world and as a moving commentary on the loneliness of the outsider – described by the New York Times as "absorbing and beautiful" – it's a treat for contemporary audiences. The new version has been given the thumbs-up by original cinematographer Anthony Richmond and the blessing of Roeg.

Distributed by Park Circus, the film opens nationwide from 9 September. The alien epic will also be available with new bonus material on Blu-ray, DVD or to download from 24 October as part of the Vintage Classics collection. A special collector's edition will follow.

A couple of venues in the capital are celebrating the re-release with panache. The Curzon Soho, which is faced with the threat of demolition, is using the release as part of its campaign to save the cinema. Declaring 9 September as David Bowie Day, it's organised a special screening and an agenda of Thin White Duke-based events in the area.

At the same time, Danny Boyle is introducing a special screening at Hackney Picturehouse. The Oscar-winning director has personal connections with the film, having often cited it as one of his all-time favourites and Roeg as a crucial influence on his own career. Following the screening, Bowie-inspired tunes are promised in the bar.

The unique and talented starman from another planet will be fondly remembered – and much missed.

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