'Moonage Daydream' director Brett Morgen on the profound impact of David Bowie

Speaking to Yahoo, Moonage Daydream director Brett Morgen admits that despite being something of a disciple of Bowie, he was taken aback by the artist’s philosophies, which he absorbed in the year and a half following a near-death experience.

Moonage Daydream will release exclusively in IMAX on 16 September and wide in UK Cinemas from 23 September.

Video transcript

BRETT MORGEN: When I started work on the film, I-- right at the beginning I had a heart attack and was in a coma for a week and-- obviously, a life-changing experience. But when I awoke-- when I woke up from the coma, I was not a changed person. The first words out of my mouth were, "I need to be on set on Monday."

And over the course of the next 18 months, I started ingesting Bowie into my veins. And what I found most remarkable and most unexpected was the-- his philosophies and his appreciation for life and the way he put that to work. And so there was an opportunity to create something much more than a musical experience-- something that could be life affirming and-- like a great Bowie song-- invite us to project and reflect back upon our own life.

I'm really sad. Last night I was watching the film and at the point when he said-- I'm gonna, like, get emotional thinking about it right now-- but when he said, "I'd love to do it again."

First day I was doing the work on the film, Tony Visconti invited me to his studio. And he said, I want to play you some stems and he put on "Cygnet Committee," which is a song David did, I think, in '69. And towards the end of this song, David sings the words, "I want to live. I want to live. I want to live." When I heard that, it was the sounds of someone who had had an extraordinary life and was on their deathbed.

But this was a man who was 18 or 19 years old at the beginning of his life who already had that appreciation and zest for living. And so that was really profound because I realized that from the very beginning he realized how limited and precious our time on this Earth was and was going to make the most of it.

I sort of do biographies for a living. I don't know any artist that I'm aware of-- I'm sure they exist; I just don't know them-- who has taken advantage of what life has to offer more than David.