David Bowie

Ricochet

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At a shade under an hour, Ricochet represents the kind of offering that would make a great bonus feature on some future DVD. At the time of release, however, and as a modern-day collectible, it really doesn't cut much ice. Shot by Gerry Troyna, it offers up a cinéma vérité account of the last weeks of 1983's Serious Moonlight tour, as Bowie hit the Far East (Singapore, Bangkok, and Hong Kong), but there is little in the way of actual concert footage. Just three songs make it into view, "Fame," "'Heroes," and "Look Back in Anger," plus footage of a Hong Kong tribute band rehearsing a ham-fisted "Ziggy Stardust." (Some moments from Low serve a vague soundtrack-ish purpose.) The remainder of the film is spent either following Bowie as he walks the streets, goes to dinner, has his fortune told, and visits a shrine, or tracking the misadventures of a fan, as he tries to get a ticket for the sold-out show. None of which, in other words, is especially worth waiting for, especially as the Serious Moonlight tour video itself served up an entire concert in strikingly better sound and vision. One final thought: the Hong Kong show, on December 8, marked the third anniversary of John Lennon's death, and wrung a beautiful version of "Imagine" out of Bowie that night. How sad that Ricochet caught so much else of his visit, but didn't give us that.

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