First episode of David Bowie’s Blackstar miniseries posted on Instagram

The first vignette from Instagram’s new miniseries Unbound, featuring music from David Bowie’s final album Blackstar, is as enigmatic as you’d expect from such a project. Before his death the British singer provided film-makers with unmediated access to the music and images from the album, with “no limits or preconditions”.

The 15-second clip features a group of people sitting in a dimly lit library. One woman spins a globe with a glass of red wine in her hands, another distractedly works on a piece of embroidery. The others chat and share books, with the exception of a figure in the corner who looks on in silence and whose back faces the camera.

The keen eyed will spot a book on the table bearing a large, black star on the cover in reference to Bowie’s 28th album. Haunting strains of the album’s titular opener plays over the looped video, or possibly from an old-timey radio that is in shot.

Within the first hour of posting, the clip collected more than 300 likes. However, several users expressed confusion and frustration over the clip’s brevity and seemed unaware that Instagram limits videos to 15 seconds.

The 16-part series was written by Carolynn Cecilia and directed by Nikki Borges for InstaMiniSeries, an account publishing episodic clips, and was created exclusively for Instagram. New episodes of Unbound will be released every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.

Among the series cast are the Rookie Mag editor-in-chief, Tavi Gevinson, as the protagonist, the American actor Patricia Clarkson (The Green Mile, Far From Heaven, Dogville) as a lounge singer, and Borges as “woman in a red dress”.

According to a press release on Bowie’s site, the series features “evocative images inspired by the moods suggested in the album’s music, lyrics and artwork” rather than a “literal, linear narrative”.

Borges said Bowie had always been about “reinvention over repetition” and that “his innovations have influenced our own work as we transform a social media platform into a creative outlet”.

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