This week was a tough one, for we lost not one, but two legends that I (and many others) have loved for a very long time. David Bowie was among my first crushes, and Alan Rickman was the first bad guy that I had a strange admiration for. Both were incredible talents and deserve all the respect in the world. So, here at DG, we want to take a moment to honor these two icons by discussing our favorite moments featuring them on the silver screen.
David Bowie – The Man Who Fell To Earth (Dalin)
Of course, I can’t make a list about David Bowie being in film without talking about the movie that made him a legend. The Man Who Fell To Earth is a strange movie, don’t get me wrong – but it is equally as beautiful. Why? Because in many ways, it represents what attracted so many people to Bowie in the first place. He was a creature beyond this world, who was striking, powerful, and seemed immortal. And this movie proved that in every frame. If you want an example of why Bowie became, well, Bowie, this will explain it big time.
Alan Rickman – Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (Dalin)
The first movie I ever saw Alan Rickman in wasn’t Die Hard or Harry Potter, but definitely showed his talents in playing the most delicious of baddies. Prince of Thieves might not be an Academy Award winner, but it was a movie that sparked my imagination in many ways and also spooked me to my core whenever Rickman would appear. That voice, those eyes, even his strange sense of humor – this was one of the classic examples of why Alan was a cinematic treasure. From the Torture scene to his final frames in the movie, Alan made an impression on my young mind I’ll never forget.
Alan Rickman – Sweeney Todd (Carly)
My favorite film moment of Alan Rickman’s is his “Pretty Women” duet with Johnny Depp in Sweeney Todd. While Mr. Rickman’s role as Snape in the Harry Potter franchise will always be closest to my heart, I loved seeing him in Sweeney Todd perhaps because I hadn’t realized beforehand that he would be in it or that he could sing. This particular scene is the most suspenseful moment of the musical, in which the murderous barber Todd savors the moments leading up to his revenge on Judge Turpin only to lose his chance at the last second. Meanwhile, Rickman playing the judge sings blithely about pretty women and the young girl he intends to marry. Mr. Rickman is so often typecast as a villain because his iconically deep and slow voice manages to be both ominous and alluring at the same time. To hear that voice in song was a special treat.
David Bowie – The Hunger (Dalin)
One of the Bowie films I discovered later in my teenage years was The Hunger, which after viewing, quickly became one of my favorite vampire films, and easily one of my top 3 Bowie performances. For one, this was a vampire flick ahead of its time, leaving an impression that later films like Only Lovers Left Alive would attempt to do, but just couldn’t live up to the hype. Bowie stands among the cast for the sheer fact that the casting of him as a vampire is as perfect as casting can get. Many believe Bowie to be immortal, and with his devilish good looks and charm, no wonder he could play such a creature. But more importantly, the scenes in which Bowie has to play an ill and sickly vampire are even more incredible, and also saddening considering how David’s life actually ended. Regardless, this is an underrated film that needs to be celebrated in the collection of Bowie performances.
General Thoughts by Tania
Alan Rickman was often the reason I watched movies outside my comfort zone, Die Hard and Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves most notably, and he is most decidedly the reason I watched Harry Potter (and continue to do so). I loved him in anything and everything with Emma Thompson (Sense and Sensibility); I loved his voice and his sense of humor. He was a hero of the screen- if Rickman was in it we needed to watch it. No one in my household can hold up a spoon without going into a Rickman impression muttering, “But why a spoon cousin, why not an axe?” “Because it’s dull you twit; it will hurt more.” (We’re weird like that.) He’s influenced my geeky teenage girls and me that much.
If you need an example of his influence on generations of British actors, read Tom Hiddleston’s letter to Joss Whedon about how he’s written Loki – his own “Hans Gruber” (Rickman’s character in Die Hard). Today all movie lovers around the world have a spoon mark where their hearts were. And none more than mine.
The moment someone says David Bowie three images flash in my head – the stark image of his blonde head sticking out of the sand in Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence, the weird images from Major Tom and the surreal and powerful images of his “Let’s Dance” film clip. And then of course, there was his Goblin King – another brilliant legacy. Bowie didn’t do enough movies (there was this little thing of him being a rock legend) but when he did, he stood out and changed the world. (For example, “Let’s Dance” brought the plight of Australia’s Indigenous population into sharp focus in Australia and around the world.)
Alan Rickman – Galaxy Quest (Dalin)
If there is one comedy that embodies everything I love, Galaxy Quest is the one. Seriously, this is one of the few movies that I have adored, laughed throughout and embraced like it was one of my cherished family members. And one of the reasons why that movie works so well is clearly Alan Rickman. His role as the “Spoke” type character of the crew is one that is equally snarky and heartwarming and never gets old. If you want to see Alan in the prime of his comedic brilliance, Galaxy Quest is your best choice. And yes Alan, by Grabthar’s Hammer, you will be surely missed.
So those are just a few of our favorite movie moments and memories, featuring two incredible icons that will remain in our hearts for years to come. So I must ask, what are your favorite moments from David Bowie and Alan Rickman? Comment below and tell us all your feelings. Trust me, we’ll be right there with you.