“Thank you Gary. Thank you Mary. Thank you everybody,” says David Bowie, playing Jesus. He’s also giving gratitude to his co-stars in the new music video to his song “The Next Day,” from his fresh album of the same name: Gary Oldman and Marion Cotillard star as a corrupt priest and a prostitute in the short film, which strangely clocks in a little shorter than the song’s 3:27 run-time.
Still, it’s enough tape for some self-flagellation, stigmata, the beating of a homeless man, a depraved Catholic cardinal dishing out money, Mother Mary and madonna/whores, kissing of rings and cutting of rugs by Cotillard and Oldman, the latter of whom should win Lifetime Achievement For Hair in one fell swoop.
“You call yourself a prophet?!” Oldman shouts at Bowie, who is performing with a host of holies on a stage in a brothel. Listen to the song itself, and Bowie may not be prophesying, but criticizing, and drawing parallels between the life of Jesus Christ and the struggle in the modern church today. And just look at what the video does. It may not be prophesy, but mere prognostication to say history’s doomed to repeat itself.
Have I mentioned the video to “The Next Day” is not safe for work?