David Bowie’s new video contains debauched Catholic clergymen

Gary Oldman and Oscar-winning actress Marion Cotillard star in the latest video from David Bowie, featuring debauched Catholic clergymen.

The promo, which premiered online this morning, depicts French star Cotillard as a dancing girl who bleeds from stigmata marks on her palms while Bowie plays a Jesus-like figure in robes fronting his band in a seedy basement bar.

It is the latest stylish video released by Bowie and accompanies the title track from his comeback album The Next Day. His last, for The Stars (Are Out Tonight), featured another acclaimed actress, Tilda Swinton.

The new film, written and conceived by 66-year-old Bowie, was directed by Floria Sigismondi and features an array of religious imagery including a figure who is indulging in self-flagellation.

Oldman plays a priest who dances with Cotillard, who won an Oscar for her role in La Vie En Rose. As she sinks to the floor bleeding from her hands, Oldman turns to Bowie – dressed in what appear to be sackcloth robes – shouting: “You see this? This is your doing – you call yourself a prophet?”

Cotillard’s wounds spray blood all over a topless, veiled albino woman before she rises again dressed in black with tears on her cheeks and bathed in light.

As the video ends with each of the characters arranged in a tableau, Bowie says “thank you Gary, thank you Marion, thank you everybody”, before disappearing.

Oldman – who landed his first Oscar nomination for playing Smiley in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy after years of acclaimed performances – previously worked with Bowie when they performed a duet on guitarist Reeves Gabrels album The Sacred Squall Of Now in the 1990s.

(May not be safe for work)

By Alan Smith
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