NFTS at 50

Absolute Beginners

+ Q&A with director Julien Temple and cinematographer Oliver Stapleton BSC

Day-glo production design, anarchic energy and David Bowie – what more do you need from a film?

Image from Absolute Beginners + Q&A with Julian Temple and Oliver Stapleton

UK 1986
Dir Julien Temple
With Eddie O’Connell, Patsy Kensit, David Bowie, James Fox
Certificate 12A

Julien Temple’s brave reboot of the British movie musical for the MTV generation comes on like a hyper West Side Story. Its tale of young lovers divided – set against a backdrop of generational conflict, gentrification and white supremacy in 1950s London – is a riot of day-glo production design and anarchic energy. Bowie’s ad man Vendice Partners gets a memorable number, dancing atop a spinning globe and an over-sized type-writer. But it’s his chart-topping title theme that steals the show.