BOWIE IN FILM — 1. “Heroes”, THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER from Fernando Andrés on Vimeo.

Part two focuses on the “Cat People” sequence from Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds, transforming it from an oddly sexual ode to manimals into a theme for getting ready to battle, perhaps for the final time

Acclaimed director Quentin Tarantino, while working at the Video Archives, was always pretty pissed that Bowie’s amazing song, tailor-made for Schrader’s erotic re-make of the 1942 classic “Cat People,” was thrown away into the end credits. He and his friends agreed, if they got that song for their film, they’d make a twenty-minute sequence built around it. So in his 2009 Nazi-scalping, bold and loudly brilliant masterpiece, Tarantino did.


BOWIE IN FILM — 2. “Cat People”, INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS from Fernando Andrés on Vimeo.


The rest of the series is just as interesting: the third video examines the fairly ironic use of “Young Americans” in Lars Von Trier’s Dogville; the fourth highlights how The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty proves that the right marriage between a song (in this case “Space Oddity”) and a scene can elevate any work, even just for a moment; and the final entry shows 2012’s The Imposter using Bowie’s “Queen Bitch” to great effect. The entire series can be viewed by going to Andrés’ Vimeo page.

These scenes, mostly pulled from the last decade or so, all feature the many ways that Bowie’s chameleon approach to persona also worked in filmmakers’ favors as they incorporated his songs into their movies. Suddenly the undercurrent of sarcasm in “Young Americans” comes more into focus when coupled with Von Trier’s direction, or the savagery at the heart of “Cat People” is used to much greater effect in the hands of Tarantino than its original filmic purpose. It’s a great tour of another aspect of Bowie’s legacy, demonstrating the transcendent power of the right song in the right moment.