EXCLUSIVE: Clarence Clemons, the celebrated saxophonist who played with Bruce Springsteen for 40 years before his death in 2011, is the subject of a documentary feature that will get a theatrical and home entertainment release this summer.
Virgil Films & Entertainment, which has released films like the Oscar-nominated Glen Campbell … I’ll Be Me, is producing and handling theatrical and digital for Clarence Clemons: Who Do I Think I Am? Music Video Distributors will put out the DVD of the film August 17, day-and-date with digital, after a July theatrical run in select cities.
Featuring interviews with President Bill Clinton, Joe Walsh, Nils Lofgren and Jake Clemons, among many others, the film details Clemons’ life as a musician and member of Springsteen’s E Street Band. But rather than staying in the usual music-doc groove, the film also explores Clemons’ spiritual quest later in his life. Director Nick Mead traveled to China with Clemons, who had what the filmmakers describe as a “transcendent awakening” after the end of the E Street Band’s marathon Rising tour in 2003.
Joe Amodei, who runs Virgil Films and is a producer of the film, said the film details the musician’s quest for enlightenment and serves as a love letter and farewell from those who knew him best. “Clarence was a true Big Man,” Amodei said, using the sax player’s nickname. “His spirituality rose to the top of every interview we conducted.”
The film got some early exposure at the Asbury Park Music and Film Festival in April and will screen at the New Jersey International Film Festival and Woods Hole Film Festival in Cape Cod over the summer. A TV or subscription video on demand release is planned for the first quarter of 2020.
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