The Man Who Fell to Earth (1976)IMDB Link
I always found sci-fi to be one of the hardest genres to capture correctly. While I enjoy reading sci-fi immensely, I have very few science fiction movie favorites. It is no surprise that The Man Who Fell to Earth is not one of them.
It works in parts, and fails mostly because it is outdated by now. I don’t mean the special effects (of which there are almost none anyway), but its way of conveying art. Art in movies have changed throughout the years, and one the most obvious attributes of art in 70s movies is random images.
This movie's art does not enhance the movie, when it does not do that, I find it very little reason to have it there. The director has strong talent for setting up certain scenes, but like his "Don’t Look Now", I find his pacing, and more importantly, his cold approach to his films dull at times. The director always seems to place his characters far away from us, and does not seem to involve us in the picture.
The idea of an alien coming to earth, disguised as a man, trying to get large amounts of water for his desert home planet is a fun idea, but in this movie, that plot is basically buried deep inside the many layers of the movie. But that’s not what I want! I don’t want the many layers, give me the plot, which I think can be very entertaining, and that is why I am looking forward to a new adaptation of the book that the movie is based on.
I found "Don’t Look Now" to be a horror movie made by a director who is not a fan of the genre, for a segment of audience who similarly is not fan of the genre. Same with "The Man Who Fell to Earth". It is a movie by a director to an audience, who both think they are too clever for a normal sci-fi movie. Except sci-fi, lots of times, can be clever in its own unassuming way.
The main highlight for me, almost exclusively, was David Bowie. His role as an alien is exceptional, and I don’t think there has ever been a rock musician that has fit a role so perfectly. Pale, thin, and obviously out of place, David Bowie brings much more to the movie than the movie deserves. We don’t get any Bowie songs though, which is a shame.3/5