By Allie Waxman
David Bowie’s Legacy Lives On in New Documentary
Focusing on the artist’s final years, David Bowie: The Last Five Years presents a nuanced look at the evolution of Bowie’s music as told through archival footage and interviews with the musical legend’s bandmates. Largely focused on Bowie’s final two albums, The Next Day and Blackstar, the film also explores his musical, Lazarus, which he began developing in the midst of his illness. Following the screening, the director Francis Whately took questions from the audience. Here’s what we learned:
Whately has been a Bowie fan for years.
“I was a childhood fan, so he’s meant a lot to me since I nicked my brother’s album when I was about 10,” the director said. “I think it was Aladdin Sane and remember being shocked and excited in equal measure; shocked by the cover and delighted by the music.”
Bowie’s bandmates were key to making the film a success.
“I was worried about how I was going to make this film, because there wasn’t any material, really, except for the videos, and I didn’t think I could make a 90-minute film,” Whately said, crediting Bowie’s bandmates for their cooperation. He noted how the bands went above and beyond to help the doc come to fruition: “The Next Day band, they’d never played all of their songs live.”
Bassist Gail Ann Dorsey won’t forget Bowie.
During the audience question portion of the evening, bassist Gail Ann Dorsey, approached the mic to share her thoughts. “I feel that I had a chance to work with someone so special to everyone in the world,” she said. “I’m in a tiny minority of people who have been touched personally by his work and blessings.”
David Bowie: The Last Five Years premieres in January on HBO.