New Music: David Bowie ‘I’d Rather Be High’

David Bowie premieres the latest music video off the deluxe edition of his comeback album The Next Day

Directed by Black Dog UK director Tom Hingston, I’d Rather Be High (Venetian Mix [Wasted Edit]) is a powerful anti-war film featuring over 100 clips of original archival footage from 20th century wartime.

Spectral glimpses of Bowie briefly appear throughout the vintage footage, giving the grainy, distorted frames an all the more ephemeral quality. 

Interspersed with chilling clips of bombings, gunfire, and gasmasks are snapshots of soldiers seeking to briefly escape the macabre reality of wartime through hedonistic pleasures. 

Hingston explains, “In early conversations, Mr. Bowie and I discussed exploring archival footage that brought to life another side of war – footage that featured soldiers celebrating; young servicemen and women, in moments of jubilation – drinking, dancing and partying. These moments of total euphoria, juxtaposed with extreme violence, hopefully serve as a powerful reminder of the futility of war.”

Hingston artfully weaves the raw combat footage with vignettes of brief teenaged merriment, as David Bowie croons, “I’d rather be dead or out of my head/ Training these guns on those men in the sand/ I’d rather be high.”

Click READ MORE to watch Bowie’s latest video.

With strobe-like flashes, the director frames the vestiges of a devastating era, intending to transport the viewer, “to a place that is neither past, nor fully present, leaving them disoriented, yet hopefully compelled to understand more about the plight of those they are watching.”

I’d Rather Be High is the fourth David Bowie music video to be released out of Black Dog Films this year, with London-based director Tom Hingston joining the list with Floria Sigismondi (The Stars Are Out Tonight; The Next Day) and Barnaby Roper, who recently helmed Love is Lost (Hello Steve Reich Remix).

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