BBC Two is set to air a documentary in January on the last years of David Bowie’s life, dubbed David Bowie: The Last Five Years. It is produced and directed by Francis Whately and will serve as a follow-up to his 2013 BBC docu David Bowie: Five Years.
The film will focus on the three major projects of Bowie’s last five years – best-selling albums The Next Day and Blackstar, alongside his musical Lazarus, which had a sold-out run on Broadway and is now playing in London. It will feature rare and unseen archive footage and early audio interviews which have never been released, including an original vocal Bowie recorded for Lazarus.
Original band members of The Next Day album will be reunited alongside Bowie’s longtime producer Tony Visconti to re-create the production process for key tracks on the album. It will feature interviews with the video directors and the stars of Bowie’s last videos, including “Stars (Are Out Tonight),” exploring how the album consolidates Bowie’s back catalog with thematic and musical references to his past.
Bowie died January 10 this year, two days after Blackstar was released. BBC Two will air the docu in January as part of a series of programs to coincide with what would have been the legendary artist’s 7oth birthday.
“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,” said Whately. “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.”