It’s an art mashup featuring a singer, a movie maker, two writers, a pop culture phenomenon, a cult film, some books, and many, many questions.

Queens Central Library will host “The Man Who Fell to Earth: Tribute to David Bowie and Nicolas Roeg” on Tuesday, Jan. 30, at 5 p.m.

Bowie (1947-2016) was a British singer, songwriter, and actor who rose to international fame during the 1970s and stayed in the public eye for about four decades and countless rebrandings. Roeg (1928-2018) was a prolific English cinematographer whose canon includes “The Man Who Fell to Earth,” a 1976 sci-fi cult classic starring Bowie as an extraterrestrial named “Thomas Jerome Newton” who searches for water on Planet Earth. (It’s based on a 1963 novel by Walter Tevis.)

The afternoon event will begin with a screening of the film, followed by a presentation with authors Susan Compo and Joseph Lanza.

Compo, a Southern California resident who ran a fanzine on Punk Rock during the genre’s heyday in the 1970s, wrote “Earthbound: David Bowie and The Man Who Fell to Earth.”

“Earthbound” analyses the subject film and its main character via interviews with members of the cast and crew and an in depth look at the original novel. It provides an intimate view of Bowie, who metastasized from a rock star to a multi-faceted artist via this film even though his proposed soundtrack was rejected. He was also consuming large amounts of drugs around the shooting time.

Lanza, a New Jersey resident, wrote “Fragile Geometry: The Films, Philosophy, and Misadventures of Nicolas Roeg,” which takes a look at the auteur who was known for disjointed and disorienting editing that presented scenes out of chronological order in a way that shatters reality. He also drafted “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Its Terrifying Times,” “Phallic Frenzy: Ken Russell and His Films,” and “Elevator Music: A Surreal History of Muzak, Easy-Listening, and Other Moodsong.”

Admission is free. Queens Central Library is located at 89-11 Merrick Rd. in Jamaica.

Image: Jimmy King


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