chapter  1
David Bowie is
ByKATHRYN JOHNSON
Pages 18

This chapter attempts to shed some light on David Bowie's contribution to cinema as an actor. According to the usual criteria of cinephilia, the film career of David Bowie hardly qualifies as brilliant. No one would dare to argue that this British artist known the world over for his songs is also a great actor with a secure place in postcolonial cinema history. Few actors would have been able to highlight as well as Bowie does in Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence the richness and complexity of contemporary issues such as the gaze, desire and otherness within the context of a postcolonial, hybridised and globalised world. The chapter discusses the fact that, in 1983, Bowie started following a deliberate strategy to normalise his image. In 1972, he was claiming to be bisexual. In the context of the Reagan-Thatcher years, Bowie takes on the part of a White soldier who seems quite confident in his masculinity.