Floria and Bowie have done it again. The pair reunited to deliver the second music video from the rock provacateur’s recent album “The Next Day.” Bowie himself wrote and conceptualized the video treatment, with Sigismondi executing his sacred-gone-sinful vision in her signature otherworldly style.
“The Next Day” sees the Black Dog director staging a blood-soaked bacchanal at a brothel attended by prostitutes and religious figures, while a Christ-like Bowie performs on stage wearing priestly vestments. Actor Gary Oldman plays a violent clergyman who propositions a scantily clad Marion Cotillard for a dirty dance. As they carry on with their lusty swivel, we see images of vice and sacrilege unfold in scenes around them: money is exchanged between a cardinal and a redheaded dancer, a monk self-flagellates, and a set of disembodied eyeballs appear on a silver platter.
Marion suddenly falls to her knees and blood begins to spurt from stigmata marks. As the blood sprays from her hands, the less-than-pious group turns to Bowie and condemns him for the scene at hand. The theatrical video closes with Bowie breaking the fourth wall, giving a meta shout-out to the A-listers, “Thank you, Gary. Thank you, Marion,” before vanishing from the biblical scene.
Apparently not everyone is as thrilled with Bowie’s return, with the Catholic League dolling out the ultimate burn, calling “The Next Day” the work of a “switch-hitting, bisexual senior citizen from London.” And although the provocative video doesn’t feature any nudity, the clip was quickly pulled from YouTube after it premiered yesterday due to its graphic religious imagery – before being reinstated hours later with an adult-only rating.
Now we’d like to give a meta-meta shoutout to Bowie and Floria – thank you both, thank you very, very much.