Eric Clapton Documentary to Theaters, Showtime

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Eric Clapton (Photo by David Wedgbury via Showtime. Used with permission)

Showtime and music film distributor Abramorama announced on Nov. 1 that the documentary film, Eric Clapton: Life in 12 Bars, will play a limited, one-week run in theaters from Nov. 24-30 before it plays on Showtime in 2018. The film is directed by Lili Fini Zanuck, producer of Driving Miss Daisy. Zanuck has partnered with producer John Battsek, whose credits include Oscar winners One Day in September and Searching for Sugar Man.

The film’s theatrical run includes just New York and Los Angeles, in order to qualify it for Academy Award consideration. It’s only playing at NYC’s Village East and at Santa Monica’s Monica Film Center.

In its mostly positive reviewVariety wrote: “The lengthy feature does not feel definitive: It commits the typical music-doc sin of devoting nearly all its time to a celebrated first professional decade, then hastily skimming past all events since. Further, the limited attention paid to later years dwells entirely on already amply chronicled struggles with addiction and personal tragedy, basically ignoring any music made after 1972.”

The New York Times called it “a story of recovery and recovered integrity.”

The documentary will make its television debut on Showtime on February 10, 2018. The film premiered at  the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival in September.

Watch Clapton’s press conference at TIFF on Sept. 11

Scroll to the bottom of the page to view the trailer, released in September.

Said Zanuck in the announcement, “Clapton’s music is the foundation of our film. His commitment to the blues, its traditions and originators, is absolute from his earliest days. The film traces all the key junctures: his prodigious talent, obsessive impatience, perfectionism and musical ‘mission.’”

Related: Clapton’s 2016 I Still Do album reviewed

The film also chronicles Clapton’s personal ups and downs, including his addiction and the loss of a son in 1991. Says Zanuck, “Despite the fact that his path is strewn with tragedies, addiction and loss, he never fails to regain his bearings and continue to serve what he holds dearest: his music.”

Richard Abramowitz, President of Abramorama, said: “The breadth of Eric Clapton’s career – John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, The Yardbirds, Cream, Blind Faith, Derek and the Dominos – is impossible to be true and yet Lili Fini Zanuck’s brilliant film makes it clear that it is. We’re very proud to start the holiday season with this gift to lovers of great music.”

Related: Clapton returned to live performance Sept. 7 with a show at Madison Square Garden

The producer, Battsek, notes: “We have unique access to Clapton’s extensive personal archive of classic performance clips, on- and off-stage footage, iconic photos, concert posters, handwritten letters, drawings and personal diary entries – elements with the power to transport audiences to each era, from obsessive student, to peer, to transcendent figure in musical history and one of the greatest guitarists of all time.”

Watch the trailer for Eric Clapton: Life in 12 Bars

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