The Man Who Fell To Earth (1976) 138 Min. Nicholas Roeg’s contrapuntal interconnecting stories of an alien (David Bowie) who crashes on earth trying to find water for his dying planet; a story of a disillusioned scientist with ribald sexual activities (Rip Torn) who agrees to work with him; the passionate and disruptive love from hotel maid, Mary-Lou (Cindy Clark); and a story of a patent attorney (Buck Henry) whose help creating World Enterprises Corporation leads to his assassination. A cult classic noted for its loving adoration of Southwestern landscapes through the cinematography of Anthony B. Richmond, Roeg’s sprawling tale documents the fatal results were a superior alien species ever to visit the earth.
The uncanny in Nature broods,
For the planet is a living thing
Sensing when an alien intrudes,
A spore in the body’s wellspring.
It samples the water. It observes
Multiple t.v.’s. It’s bizarre;
Ovoid fish eyes twitch like hors d’oeuvres.
It might even be a future rock star.
Dye the hair, whirl like a pearl,
Sing so weird you’re bound to annoy.
If you’re a boy, dress like a girl.
If you’re a girl, dress like a boy.
Stars on cocaine snort spurs divine
And jujitsu every radical taboo.
He’d been a Space Oddity since 1969,
Major Tom, afloat above the desolate blue.
Identity’s hunky dory, Warhol silkscreening
Power by controlling image saturation,
Then Ziggy Stardust, parched and preening,
Arises the angel of pop dissociation.
Corporations are the nations now.
What they confiscate they revalue.
The alien animal’s dissected like a cow.
“Get out of my mind! All of you!”
What he knows no one must know,
So private is his loss. Government ranks
Silence him with one quid pro quo
Of sex with guns shooting blanks.
Welcome to the pit, remove your Glam.
Androgyny is rape’s polyphony.
Psychedelic lights mime each gram.
Who’s higher – Rip Torn or David Bowie?
[Disposable Poem January 28, 2016]