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Produced and directed by Francis Whately, it is a follow-up to his David Bowie: Five Years, which aired on BBC Two in 2013. “As with the first film, this new piece will feature a wealth of rare and unseen archive footage and early audio interviews which have never been released before,” the BBC said. “This includes the original vocal, which Bowie recorded for Lazarus, his last release before his death, which has never been heard before.”
The film will air, along with other content across the BBC’s TV and radio outlets, a year after the music star’s death in the month that would have seen Bowie turn 70.
Additionally, BBC Four will air Bowie at the BBC, a compilation of archive footage exploring Bowie’s career as captured by the BBC from his very first appearance in 1964 to his death in 2016.
Meanwhile, BBC Radio 2 will air a documentary, Life On Mars, examining the legacy of the song. And BBC Radio 6 Music will be asking listeners to vote for their favorite Bowie album and holding a listening party for the top choice, plus it will present a show in tribute to the singer.
David Bowie: The Last Five Years will focus on the three major projects of Bowie’s last five years — the best-selling albums The Next Day and Blackstar, alongside musical Lazarus. “With unprecedented access to Bowie’s closest friends and collaborators this will be an unforgettable tribute to one of the greatest musical icons of modern times,” the BBC said.
Said Whately: “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. 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… ‘ch ch ch changes’ etc. 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.”
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