Moonage Daydream Footage Reaction: The David Bowie Doc Is A 'Sonic And Visual Extravaganza' [CinemaCon 2022]

Earlier this month, Neon and HBO acquired the David Bowie documentary "Moonage Daydream," a Bowie-estate-approved film directed by "Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck" filmmaker Brett Morgen. Today, the Neon team showed first footage from the new project at CinemaCon 2022 in Las Vegas, and the /Film team was there to witness it. We've also learned that in addition to directing, Morgen is credited as the writer, producer, and sole editor on the upcoming project.

Described by Neon as a "sonic and visual extravaganza," Morgen's documentary sounds more like a cosmic experience than a traditional musician's biography. The team showed two clips from the film today, both of which combined Bowie's music and footage from live performances and interviews with classic films and images that evoke the strange sci-fi vibe the artist was known for. Neon also boasted that the project will be a culmination of over five million assets, including recordings and footage (presumably including some from the Bowie estate) that have never been shared before.

The full Bowie experience

The first look at "Moonage Daydream" was a snippet of the film's prologue, featuring Bowie's "Hello Spaceboy." It's visceral and atmospheric, beginning with black and white footage of the moon's surface and ethereal shots of outer space. A little girl with a tail walks the moon with no spacesuit, until she stumbles upon one. Inside, she sees a decomposing skull. Before audiences have time to make sense of these images, the camera cuts to a montage of classic films, including Fritz Lang's "Metropolis" and Georges Méliès' "A Trip To The Moon." Bowie appears, performing the song, and the clip culminates with thrumming drums, shots of an eager crowd, and cross-cut archival footage of a rocket launch.

As if this trippy, breathless experience wasn't enough, Neon presented two more clips from "Moonage Daydream" at CinemaCon, and both rock very hard. In one, the superstar performs "Heroes" on a UK stage while footage from earlier the same day shows crew members prepping for the show and audiences reaching a fever pitch of anticipation before Bowie has started performing. In another, the singer belts out "Moonage Daydream" in a puffy white shirt while bathed in a pool of yellow light. The latter clip includes plenty of the same energetic editing as the rocket-powered prologue, tying in clips of B-movie alien spaceships and more ecstatic crowds before the image ultimately distorts and comes to an end.

From the looks of it, "Moonage Daydream" will be anything but a by-the-book music documentary. Morgen himself appeared at CinemaCon to explain that he remastered the artist's music and scrolled the Bowie archives for two years to put together the film. "Bowie cannot be defined," Morgen says. "He can be experienced." Based on our first look, "Moonage Daydream" will certainly be qute an experience.

Neon has not announced a release date for "Moonage Daydream," so stay tuned.