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David Bowie 'I'd Rather Be High - Venetian Mix (Wasted Edit)' by Tom Hingston

David Knight - 6th Dec 2013

The latest Bowie video from The Next Day is a powerful anti-war film, featuring over 100 clips of original archival footage from 20th century wartime, compiled and manipulated by British designer and director Tom Hingston.  

Hingston's video for I’d Rather Be High – Venetian Mix (Wasted Edit) - from the new deluxe version of Bowie's massively successful comeback album - is a revealing look at the total experience of the Second World War, including spectral, solarised glimpses of Bowie within the vintage film, in which raw combat footage is mixed with unexpectedly vibrant vignettes of merriment by soldiers and civilians, enjoying life to the full. 

And Tom Hingston's distortion of the footage - edited by Amanda James and Owen Oppenheimer  – also modernises it, and makes the revelry more relevant. All while Bowie sings: “I’d rather be dead or out of my head/ Training these guns on those men in the sand/ I’d rather be high.”   

He explains: “In early conversations, David 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 is quick to express gratitude to the clips’ original documentarians, “The film is a testament to all of those fearless cameramen who captured those moments, without their bravery this film would simply not have been possible. In my mind, this is very much one film that is the work of over 100 film makers.”

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David Knight - 6th Dec 2013


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Tom Hingston
Jacob Swan Hyam
Production Company


Amanda James
Owen Oppenheimer
Editing company
Final Cut
Editing company


Markus Lehtonen
Yusuke Murakami


Director's Representation
Martin Roker at Black Dog Films


Production Assistant
Stephanie Werrell-Smyth

Other credits


Sara Garcia Andersson, Matt Bowron, Jess Waterhouse


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David Knight - 6th Dec 2013

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