Watch David Bowie: The Last Five Years
- 1 hr 30 min
David Bowie: The Last Five Years is a documentary film that takes an intimate and heartfelt look at the final years of the legendary musician's life. Through a mix of archive footage, personal interviews, and never-before-seen content, the movie explores the creative forces that shaped Bowie's last two albums, The Next Day and Blackstar, as well as his stage musical, Lazarus.
Directed by Francis Whately, the film gives viewers a fascinating insight into how Bowie approached his music during this period, often described as his 'comeback' years. He was in his sixties and had taken a ten-year break from releasing new music when he began work on The Next Day. It was a turning point in his career, and he approached his work with a renewed energy and sense of purpose.
Throughout the movie, we see Bowie working with his band, including long-time collaborator Earl Slick and bassist Gail Ann Dorsey. We also see him discussing his work with other artists, such as Tony Visconti, who produced many of his classic albums, and Donny McCaslin, the saxophonist who played on Blackstar.
In addition to exploring Bowie's music, the film also delves into his personal life during this time. We see him discussing his cancer diagnosis, which was kept private until after his death, and how he used his art to reflect on his mortality. Lazarus, co-written with playwright Enda Walsh, was a particularly poignant exploration of mortality, with the lead character, played by Michael C. Hall, dying from cancer.
The Last Five Years is a bittersweet reflection on Bowie's life, filled with moments of joy and creativity, as well as sadness and introspection. We see him laughing and joking with his bandmates, sharing insights about his work, and reveling in the creation of his art. But we also see him struggling with his health, and the knowledge that his time was limited.
One of the most fascinating aspects of the film is the way it presents Bowie as a working artist, rather than a star. We see him in the studio, working on tracks, experimenting with sounds, and pushing his musicians to their limits. It's a reminder that, while he was undeniably a cultural icon, he was also a dedicated and hardworking musician, always striving to create something new and exciting.
The Last Five Years is also notable for its use of archive footage. We see clips from Bowie's early career, as well as interviews with him from throughout his life. These provide a fascinating insight into his creative process and his approach to life, as well as serving as a reminder of his immense talent and charisma.
Overall, David Bowie: The Last Five Years is a must-see for fans of the iconic musician, as well as anyone interested in the creative process. It offers a deeply personal and emotional look at the final years of Bowie's life, while also celebrating his immense talent and influence on modern music. It's a fitting tribute to a man who, even in death, continues to inspire and captivate millions.
David Bowie: The Last Five Years is a 2017 music movie with a runtime of 1 hour and 30 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.5.