David Bowie was, without question, one of the most iconic figures of his time. His untimely passing left a huge hole in the hearts of millions of fans and fellow musicians, so the news that his son, famed film director, Duncan Jones, dedicated his latest film, Mute, to his late father, it was not much of surprise. Mute is the first full film that Jones has completed since his fathers passing. The movie, Warcraft, was released the same year that Bowie passed away, but the film had been years in the making, meaning that it was not has impacted by the death of Bowie as Mute.
According to Jones, the fact the film is the first film he has directed from start to finish since his father passed away is not the only reason that he dedicated the film to him. Duncan says that the film was inspired by Bowie in multiple ways, including on the storytelling and thematic level.
The film was shot on location in Berlin, Germany, which is a place Jones knows well, being that he spent a significant amount of time there with his father during the mid-1970s. In fact, Berlin is the spot where Bowie record what has become known as the Berlin trilogy — “Heroes,” “Lodger,” and “Low.” Jones admitted that while working on the screenplay, he determined that the location would have to be city considered as a melting pot, and for him, Berlin was a no-brainer.
Interestingly, there have been some occurrences in the city of Berlin over recent years that run parallel with the theme of Mute, including the merging of immigrant cultures and the desire to go into or leave the city.
Jones was transparent in revealing that his father served as inspiration in the development of much of the subtext of the movie, is that a significant part of the storyline revolves around the idea of attempting to understand what makes a good parent. Additionally, David always challenged Duncan to go out a little bit deeper into the water until he reaches the point in which he could not touch the bottom with his toes — in essence, Bowie was challenging his son to get out of his comfort zone and stop playing it safe. Jones said that is exactly what he did with mute, he went beyond what he was comfortable with, making the movie darker than most people would expect. He revealed that making the movie made him nervous.
In addition to dedicating the film to his late father, Jones also played tribute to his late nanny, a woman named Marion Skene. Skene was responsible for looking after Duncan during those times in which his father was out on world tours doing what he did best. The movie is scheduled to be released on February 23, 2018, and the anticipation is building for fans of both, Jones and Bowie.
While I am sure that Bowie expressed this many times over the course of his relationship with Duncan, but it is worth noting at least one last time — Duncan’s exceptional and gifted work has ensured that Bowie experienced many proud moments.