David Bowie has a new single out, and because it’s Bowie, the single is officially represented as such: ★ (previously called Blackstar). The song is featured on his new LP coming January 8, and the legendary glam rocker has announced a short film of the same name to promote the whole enchilada.
Today, Bowie unveiled a 30 second promo for the film ★, a selection of close-up shots that get progressively creepier: beginning with a sunlit scene of a plant blowing in the wind, we also see ancient-looking ruins, a skull adorned with jewelry, three people being hung on crosses, and Bowie proudly standing holding a star-covered book.
Johan Renck, who directed the film, recently directed The Last Panthers which uses the uses the upcoming single ★ as its theme song. (The six part crime series, which premiered this fall in Europe, will air on SundanceTV in the U.S. in spring 2016.)
In a statement earlier this month via Rolling Stone, Renck explained that he showed Bowie the first two episodes of the show, while still in production, and told him about underlying themes of the show like guilt, personality flaws, and the “biblical aspects” of human nature. “He asked if there was anything else to see, so I showed him the first concept board I had just made for the title sequence — images from the show laced with chimaeras and demons from the worlds of Bosch and Grunewald,” said Renck. “That’s when he said go — it all fits. Then he played me his new song Blackstar.”
While the music video for ★ isn’t directly associated with The Last Panthers, it seems to have similarly dark themes. The video will premiere in Brooklyn, New York on November 19, the day before the album’s title track is released in full.
Also upcoming for Bowie is an unrelated musical theater project, called Lazarus, opening in New York next month.