Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars

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The glam-tastic final concert by David Bowie’s “rock n roll alien” alter ego Ziggy Stardust is the glittery subject of this legendary rock doc from director D.A.Pennebaker (Don’t Look Back, Monterey Pop). Captured live on July 3, 1973 at London’s Hammersmith Odeon Theatre, and framed by a smattering of revealing behind-the-scenes footage, the bulk of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars concerns the actual concert, notable as the final time that the famously chameleon-like Bowie would perform under the Ziggy Stardust persona — an announcement that, at the time, led many fans to mistakenly believe Bowie was retiring altogether. This final blowout performance, which sent alien tourist Ziggy and his band The Spiders from Mars back to their distant home planet, is an orgiastic rock and roll freakout featuring numerous songs from Ziggy Stardust, Hunky Dory, Aladdin Sane and other classic Bowie albums. Amidst the unforgettable spectacle of over-the-top stage costumes, dirty guitar feedback and a crowd on the verge of riotous chaos, Ziggy/Bowie plows through a barrage of out-of-this-world tunes, including Ziggy Stadust, Moonage Daydream, Changes, and Space Oddity, as well as a powerful cover of the Velvet Underground’s White Light/White Heat. A fittingly grandiose send-off for the King of Glam Rock’s most “out there” creation, Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars is both a highly entertaining rock n roll flick and a stunning epitaph for the waning era of Glam. (Dir. by D.A. Pennebaker, 1973, USA, 90 mins., Rated PG) Digital