Last month, BMG announced the release of Moonage Daydream, a definitive new portrait of David Bowie that is also the first film to be officially sanctioned by his estate. And now the label has revealed even more plans in the feature length documentary world.
Today, BMG has announced that U2, Elton John, David Bowie, Ringo Starr, Nick Cave, Joan Jett, and filmmaker Cameron Crowe are among a star-studded cast set to pay tribute to Marc Bolan.
Christened Angelheaded Hipster: The Songs of Marc Bolan & T. Rex, the film is set to make its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival in June. The film follows the release of the tribute album and musical companion album of the same name by BMG in September 2020.
Featuring 26 reimagined songs culled from Bolan’s vast body of work released as T. Rex and Tyrannosaurus Rex from 1968 to 1977, in addition to archival fan and performance footage, the film is being called “a living document combining a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the new album as the artists explore Bolan’s legacy as one of the most influential yet enigmatic rock stars of all time.”
The film was financed and executive produced by BMG, written and directed by Ethan Silverman, produced by Bill Curbishley and Ethan Silverman, and is represented by Submarine Entertainment with Dan Braun as executive producer and international sales agent.
Speaking about the film, Fred Casimir, BMG EVP Global Repertoire, said, “Marc Bolan stands as one of the most influential musical figures of his time. Like David Bowie, he was one of the first artists to show a younger generation that it was okay to embrace being unique, express yourself, and break barriers. Now, more than ever, his music and style continue to speak to the next generation. BMG is proud to bring Ethan Silverman and Bill Curbishley’s visual document to this musical pioneer, alongside Hal Willner’s lovingly reimagined all-star tribute album, to the big screen and introduce Marc to new audiences.”
Silverman added: “Bill and I want to move Marc Bolan from footnote to headline. While still a beloved figure in the UK and amongst some musicians and music fans, we feel he never received his due especially considering his enduring influence. Marc Bolan’s unique spin on Rock & Roll, use of rhythm, poetic wordplay, and fearlessness deserve a fresh look. This film is neither a biopic nor a ‘making of’ documentary, rather it is a celebration of creativity looking backward and forward at the same time.”
The film looks at where Bolan was headed musically and artistically before his life was cut short in at the age of 29.
BMG is proud to introduce Marc Bolan to new audiences
Fred Casimir, BMG
In the film, early fans including Billy Idol and Joe Elliott (Def Leppard) share reminiscences with additional appearances including Bolan’s partner Gloria Jones and son Rolan Bolan, Lucinda Williams, Beth Orton, Maria McKee, Snarky Puppy, Macy Gray, Father John Misty, Devendra Banhart, Nena, and many others.
Producer Hal Willner worked on the Angelheaded Hipster album for several years, with sessions spanning continents, from New York, Los Angeles, and New Orleans, to London, Paris, and Berlin. The album features a host of special guests Kesha, Joan Jett, Perry Farrell, Nick Cave, Devendra Banhart, Father John Misty, and Peaches, among many others, with arrangements by Thomas Bartlett, Steven Bernstein, Eli Brueggemann, J.G. Thirlwell, and Steve Weisberg.
The film features Bowie’s long, deep and musical friendship, which is woven into the story by Bowie in archive and by Crowe and by Bolan's last partner Gloria Jones, alongside intimate family mementos and pictures never shared publicly before.
Other BMG films include David Crosby: Remember My Name, Joan Jett documentary Bad Reputation, Rudeboy: The Story of Trojan Records, and Echo In The Canyon.
BMG partnered with Pulse and Quickfire Films and multi-platinum, two-time BRIT Award-winning, Grammy Award-nominated singer-songwriter Lewis Capaldi for his debut feature-length documentary film and announced a multi-faceted global partnership with the Montreux Jazz Festival to launch the definitive three-part documentary series, They All Came Down to Montreux, celebrating the history of the music festival.
Cameron Crowe and Marc Bolan photo by Neal Preston