David Bowie is back with another epic new mini-movie, directed by video genius Floria Sigismondi (Marilyn Manson, Sigur Ros, Ellie Goulding, Leonard Cohen, two landmark '90s Bowie vids). In a bit of inspired casting, the Thin White Duke’s new video co-stars thin white duchess Tilda Swinton as his dutiful wife—but really, she looks more like his long-lost twin.
For years, the uncanny resemblance between Bowie and the Oscar-winning actress has been noted by observers—so much so that there's an entire Tumblr site, TildaStardust.com, devoted to their separated-at-birth similarity. In 2003, fashion photographer Craig McDean actually orchestrated a shoot with Tilda during which she dressed up as Bowie, and last year, Hint Fashion Magazine even published a rather convincing compare-and-contrast blogpost titled "Visual Proof That David Bowie And Tilda Swinton Are The Same Person."
Well, the fact that Bowie and Swindon appear onscreen on the same time in "The Stars (Are Out Tonight)" obviously refutes Hint's theory—unless director Sigismondi used some creative CGI, of course. But perhaps what more important is how amazing Bowie looks in this video, in general.
You see, when Bowie unexpectedly emerged from a decade-long seclusion last month on his 66th birthday—releasing a new music video, “Where Are We Now,” and announcing plans to issue The Next Day, his first album since 2003’s Reality—it was cause for celebration, but there was just one minor problem: His famously aquiline likeness could barely be discerned in the “Where Are We Now” video. He merely appeared as some sort of conjoined twin, his digitally obscured face peeking out from a black shroud. Considering that Bowie had practically gone into hiding since his heart attack of '03, and that rumors about his supposed ill health had run rampant in the years since, it was worrying that he had opted to not show his full self in his comeback clip.
But in his new video tour de force, the man looks virtually untouched by time: still handsome, glamorous, regal, and, for lack of a better adjective, positively Bowie-esque. Tilda, along with Norwegian model Iselin Steiro (who plays the younger, flame-haired Bowie in the video's band scenes) deliver stunning performances, for sure, but there’s little doubt that fans’ eyes will be riveted only to the real Bowie whenever he’s onscreen.
And as for any fans whose ears were mildly underwhelmed by the mellow moodiness of “Where Are We Now,” they'll be happy to know that Bowie’s new tune is a much more propulsively rocking affair, proving that the man hasn’t lost his edge at age 66.
David Bowie’s Tony Visconti-produced new album, The Next Day, comes out in the U.S. on March 12.
(all video stills by Floria Sigismondi)
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