The Best Documentaries Of 2022, Ranked

I never really got into David Bowie. Apart from the odd standout — “Heroes,” “Space Oddity,” “Rebel, Rebel,” etc. — his albums just didn’t speak to me. I’d put them on occasionally (I had his complete discography on my iPod Nano, an ancient device teens used back when cell phones were less commonplace and looked a bit like TV remotes), but the music never really grabbed me. I’d think it was good, just not great.

The 2022 documentary “Moonage Daydream” taught me something: it’s not that I never got into David Bowie, I never got David Bowie. His music isn’t meant to be the background soundtrack to every day. It’s visual, it’s performative, and it demands to be seen. His art is daring, expressive, and — weirdly — kind. There’s an inclusivity to his work that I didn’t appreciate until now.  

Written, directed, and produced by Brett Morgen, “Moonage Daydream” is a trippy, vivid, and vibrant story of who David Bowie was, told through clips of old interviews, performances, and more. But unlike last year’s “Get Back,” “Moonage Daydream” is more than just pure historical footage: Morgen artfully combines music, interview audio, and archival footage with original video imagery — some of which is very abstract — to communicate ideas. We the audience are not passive observers — we’re being told Bowie’s story told through his own words, but like we’ve never seen before. An extra-sensory montage that is highly effective and endlessly compelling. 

It’s about the best posthumous tribute imaginable, but my God — I am devastated every time I reflect on how this bright, beautiful human being was taken from the world too soon. 

Leave a Comment