A young lad named Freddie Burretti met rising star David Bowie at a London club, and soon afterward became the collaborator and creator of the Ziggy Stardust persona. Burretti’s otherworldly gender-bending costumes were way ahead of their time amid the homophobia of the 1970s. What a fantastic career he had. I wish I could say the same about this film.
Where to begin? Writing: zero. Producing: zero. Editing: zero. Graphics: zero. Information that is not available from a quick Google search: zero. Journalistic integrity: zero. Overall score: zero.
The biopic opens with an amateur illustration of stacked televisions. Inside were…well, who knows? They looked like some blurry concert clips and unrelated old commercials from the ’60s. Turns out those televisions were a plot device to use up time between interviews with the same four people saying how much they miss Freddie, and how talented and good-looking he was.
The producers managed to get the rights to only four Bowie songs. The rest were performed by some mystery woman. At least she had a good voice, but the loud music drowned out the thick British accents, rendering them incomprehensible at times.
The bits of concert footage looked like they were outtakes from a previous film and fished out of the editing room trash. Another plot device had some actor portraying a young Burretti gleefully skipping down an alley somewhere. In case we missed it, this scene was repeated several times, along with the mystifying stack of televisions.
Where was the concert footage showing those innovative creations? Nowhere. Apparently, Freddie left at the height of his career, off to New York to follow a lover. Or did he? How long was he there? What was he doing in New York? Who knows. Sometime after New York, he lived in Israel for twelve years. What was he doing in Israel? Who knows. There was a throwaway line about Freddie’s death in Paris. Paris? How long was he there and what was he doing? Who knows. Another chum stated he had succumbed to cancer. (AIDS ?) Who knows. His family and friends hadn’t heard from him in twenty years. Did the filmmakers utilize modern investigative tools for answers? No.
Eighty mind-numbing minutes later it was over. If only I had an amateur illustration of a remote to change the channel.