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The Man Who Fell to Earth

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If The Man Who Fell to Earth were an ordinary, no-frills laserdisc, it would be easier to ignore the most pretentious allusions in Nicolas Roeg’s sci-fi parable about a fey industrial-genius E.T. (David Bowie) and just groove on the wide-screen vistas of lonely deserts and cityscapes. But the scenery recedes once you listen to the disc’s alternate-audio-track commentary, featuring Roeg, Bowie, and costar Buck Henry. Prattling on about ”the luggage of otherness” (Bowie) and how ”sooner or later all things are connected” (Roeg), they quickly bring an already symbol-heavy tone poem crashing to the ground. C

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