David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust and The Spiders From Mars: The Motion Picture returning to cinemas
By Steve O'Brien | May 19, 2023
July 3, 1973 – David Bowie retired Ziggy Stardust, his most celebrated alter-ego, in front of 5000 disbelieving fans onstage at London’s Hammersmith Odeon. Fifty years later, Ziggy will finally go global with a digitally restored version of Ziggy Stardust The Motion Picture showing at over 1,000 cinemas worldwide.
The original Ziggy Stardust tour in 1972/73 only visited the UK, USA and Japan, making this new uncut version of the film the first chance for European fans to finally see Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars up close – and in 4K HD with 5.1 sound.
Original Spiders drummer Woody Woodmansey says: “In hindsight, there are so many places that we didn’t get to, and there were some places that were totally into us. Germany was particularly strong and we had an underground type of following in France. People needed to see the live show for things to properly kick off and we didn’t manage that. But our schedule was so rammed, I can’t see how we could’ve done that.”
The Eventim Apollo Hammersmith (formerly the Odeon) will host the global premiere of the newly restored version of the film 50 years to the day on July 3, 2023. The evening will also include an on-stage conversation with Bowie collaborators and contemporary musicians that will precede the film screening. They will address the original show’s legacy and Ziggy’s pan-generational resonance.
The Q&A at Eventim Apollo will be hosted by award-winning editor, Mercury Music Prize judge and Echo Velvet’s Creative Director Phil Alexander who said: “It’s rare that you can pin-point a precise moment in music where culture genuinely changes. The night of July 3, 1973, when David Bowie and the Spiders from Mars played Hammersmith Odeon, is one of those moments.
“The impact of David’s decision to retire Ziggy onstage and split the Spiders was an act that led to creative rebirth and whole lot more. The idea of Ziggy and the band returning to that same stage, allows Bowie fans to unite and enjoy a once in lifetime experience. It will be the closest anyone has come to being there back in ’73, and we intend to make sure we celebrate the events of that fateful night with a good few surprises.”
The newly restored film will allow fans to finally see the complete set that was played on that July night for the first time and features the performance of legendary guitarist Jeff Beck whose performance was cut from the original version of the film.
Renowned filmmaker D.A. Pennebaker (Monterey Pop, Bob Dylan Don’t Look Back, Depeche Mode 101) captured the momentous event back in ’73 filming Bowie and The Spiders From Mars backstage and onstage. The digital restoration of the new version of the film has been overseen by his son, Frazer Pennebaker. Ziggy Stardust The Motion Picture provides Bowie fans with the opportunity to unite and relive the iconic moment that changed popular culture forever.
Global cinema tickets available from today, for details on your participating local cinemas visit www.davidbowie.com
- Want more from Classic Pop magazine? Get a free digital issue when you sign up to our newsletter!
Steve O'BrienSteve O’Brien is a writer who specialises in music, film and TV. He has written for magazines and websites such as SFX, The Guardian, Radio Times, Esquire, The New Statesman, Digital Spy, Empire, Yours Retro, The New Statesman and MusicRadar. He’s written books about Doctor Who and Buffy The Vampire Slayer and has even featured on a BBC4 documentary about Bergerac. Apart from his work on Classic Pop, he also edits CP’s sister magazine, Vintage Rock Presents.