Celebrated auteur Nicolas Roeg’s The Man Who Fell to Earth is a daring, artistically ambitious science fiction film that was made a full six years before Blade Runner, widely considered a masterwork of British-American cinema. Starring rock icon David Bowie in the title role, the film showcases Roeg’s dazzling, kaleidoscopic style and is at once a mythic parable, a provocative love story, a study of existential loneliness and a compelling portrait of exile and alienation, set in the vast, desolate spaces of the American Southwest.
The critical path into The Man Who Fell to Earth begins with a detailed examination of Walter Tevis’ neglected 1963 source novel, followed by a discussion of the film’s long initial development and unusual production history, culminating in a close analysis of the film itself, exploring its elliptical editing style, its mixed critical reception and its curious legacy. This book is a welcome and much-needed exploration of one of the most haunting and enigmatic science fiction movies ever made.
Samuel J. Umland is an American literary and film critic and academic who has written books on acclaimed writer Philip K. Dick and director Tim Burton. With Rebecca Umland he co-authored the highly praised critical biography, Donald Cammell: A Life on the Wild Side and a book on the Arthurian legend in film.
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