David Bowie New Documentary: The Last 5 Years

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David Bowie in The Last Five Years

In the last years of his life, David Bowie ended nearly a decade of silence to engage in a burst of activity, producing two albums and a musical. Exploring this unexpected end to his career, a documentary, David Bowie: The Last Five Years, finally gets its U.S. debut when it airs Jan. 8, 2018, (8 p.m. ET/PT), on what would have been his 71st birthday, on HBO.

The film will also be available on HBO On Demand, HBO NOW, HBO GO and affiliate portals.

According to a press release, “On the 2003-2004 Reality tour, David Bowie had a frightening brush with mortality, suffering a heart attack during what was to be his final full concert. He then disappeared from public view, only re-emerging in the last five years of his life to make some of the most important music of his career. Made with remarkable access, Francis Whately’s documentary is a revelatory follow-up to his acclaimed 2013 documentary David Bowie: Five Years, which chronicled Bowie’s golden ’70s and early-’80s period.”

The documentary, which first aired in the U.K. in 2017, focuses on three major projects: the albums The Next Day and Blackstar (released on Bowie’s 69th birthday, two days before his death in 2016), and the musical Lazarus, which was inspired by the character he played in the 1976 film The Man Who Fell to Earth.

Related: The story behind Bowie’s Lazarus

Says the release, “Dispelling the simplistic view that his career was simply predicated on change, the film includes revealing interviews with many of Bowie’s closest creative collaborators, including: Tony Visconti, Bowie’s longtime producer; musicians who contributed to The Next Day and Blackstar; Jonathan Barnbrook, the graphic designer of both albums; Robert Fox, producer of Lazarus, along with cast members from the show, providing a unique behind-the-scenes look at Bowie’s creative process; and Johan Renck, director of Bowie’s final music video, ‘Lazarus,’ which was widely discussed as foreshadowing his death.”

The documentary also features excerpts from many of Bowie’s biggest hits, including “Fame,” “Rebel Rebel,” “‘Heroes’” and “Space Oddity,” as well as songs from his last two albums, juxtaposing footage from the music videos “The Stars (Are Out Tonight),” “Blackstar” and “Lazarus” with studio performances by the musicians on the albums.


Watch the trailer from The Last Five Years

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