The Man Who Fell to Earth

Screening on Film
Directed by Nicolas Roeg.
With David Bowie, Rip Torn, Candy Clark.
UK, 1976, 35mm, color, 138 min.

R is for Roeg Images

Having studied the planet by monitoring television stations, an alien lands on Earth seeking water for his dying planet and becomes the successful head of a high-tech conglomerate. All is well in his new world until he must face the challenges of human emotion. A meld of surreal science fiction and classic Hollywood romance, the film’s budding love story between David Bowie’s detached space traveler and Candy Clark’s unsophisticated hotel worker is set to the strains of middle-of-the-road 1970s pop music. Roeg’s brilliant use of cross-cutting creates a complex non-linear narrative structure and provides striking thematic juxtapositions.

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Cinema A–Z: Treasures from the Harvard Film Archive