❚ WHAT A FRISKY, UNSETTLING VIDEO David Bowie has created for this year’s second single, The Stars (Are Out Tonight). It’s hard to tell who’s doing what to whom in this sexy Rocky Horror homage on the theme of celebrity stalking.
The souls of a happily married suburban couple are haunted by the neighbours, a tantalising pair of godlike and androgynous celebrity sirens played by supermodels Andrej Pejic and Saskia De Brauw, who have been cast from Bowie’s 70s character moulds. The story sees wifey, played by Tilda Swinton, morph into another early Bowie lookalike, which has often seemed to be her destiny. Dave himself ends up in mindless zombie mode despite his protective bemused face, the me-looking-at-me double-take, first clocked in his 2003 Vittel TV commercial.
Even today, it’s brave that gender-bending role-play is the medium for The Stars’ saga of corruption, depicted with a cold eroticism appropriate to the zeitgeist. That we’re led astray by ambivalent naked body parts in a pseudo-Hitchcockian psychodrama is eye-popping. On top of which, this absorbing, elegant mini-movie by Floria Sigismondi makes flesh of a rocking melody and an intelligent song, delivered with classic Bowie vocals. (Here, musically, is another echo from 2003’s album Reality, which was widely under-rated.) The weirdo video for The Stars is all of a piece: it’s tongue-in-cheek, it’s creepy and it’s funny.
Also: Dave is sporting a proper set of glam teeth and NO evidence of a turkey neck at 66. So unfair.