David Bowie: The Last Five Years, a new documentary chronicling the final years in the life of singer-songwriter David Bowie, debuts on HBO January 8 at 8 PM ET on what would have been Bowie's 71st birthday.
The 95-minute film focuses on Bowie's final three projects: the albums The Next Day and the jazz-infused 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.
The Last Five Years includes interviews with many of Bowie’s closest 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 behind-the-scenes look at Bowie’s creative process; and Johan Renck, director of Bowie’s final music video, “Lazarus.”
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.
Francis Whately’s documentary is a follow-up to his acclaimed 2013 documentary, David Bowie: Five Years, which chronicled Bowie’s ‘70s and early-‘80s period.
Lazarus made its world premiere in 2015 at New York Theatre Workshop. The musical opened at London's King’s Cross Theatre in November 2016.