November 4, 2016
Originally published on FACT
Watch a clip of the film below.
The final chapter of David Bowie’s life is the subject of a new BBC documentary due to be aired in 2017. David Bowie: The Last Five Years will feature new interviews and unseen footage focusing on the late musician’s final two albums, The Next Day and Blackstar, as well as the Lazarus stage musical, which recently opened in London.
The documentary includes the last recording Bowie made before his death, an a cappella performance for Lazarus which has never been heard before, and sees his long-time producer Tony Visconti reunite with The Next Day band to recreate their production process for a selection of tracks. The film also pays a trip to the 55 bar in New York, where Bowie first met the jazz quartet who played on Blackstar.
Produced and directed by Francis Whately as a follow-up to his 2013 documentary, David Bowie: Five Years, the documentary will be broadcast as part of a season marking the one-year anniversary of Bowie’s death in January 2016.
“I always hoped that I would make another film about Bowie as we were only able to scratch the surface in the first film, but I just didn’t expect it to be this soon,” Whateley said.
“However, looking at Bowie’s extraordinary creativity during the last five years of his life has allowed me to re-examine his life’s work and move beyond the simplistic view that his career was simply predicated on change – Bowie the chameleon.
“Instead, I would like to show how the changes were often superficial, but the core themes in his work were entirely consistent – alienation, mortality and fame.”
The season will also include Bowie at the BBC, a compilation of rarely-seen archive footage of the star’s performances and interviews at the BBC, and a Radio 2 documentary about ‘Life On Mars’.