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The Last Five Years by BBC

January 7 2017 at 9:32 PM
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Hjalmberi  (Login Hjalmberi)
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Watching is now, the amount of footage from 1970s is disappointing considering the documentary title. What's your impression?


    
This message has been edited by Hjalmberi from IP address 87.185.216.216 on Jan 7, 2017 9:32 PM


 
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Anonymous
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Re: The Last Five Years by BBC

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January 7 2017, 11:11 PM 

I think they overused the gimmick of isolating his voice stem as if they had uncovered new material. They did it about 10 times. Overall nicely edited but ultimately a triumph of editing over content. They actually left quite a lot uncovered from his last years. They started talking about the next day album but neglected to go into the finished product and how it was received in any depth. Also the documentary ended rather abruptly - they could have said something about his legacy, the cast recordings, and such. As anticipated we didn't learn anything we didn't know already because the main players weren't participating. The rest were interviewed in the last documentary.

 
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AnAlligator
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Re: The Last Five Years by BBC

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January 7 2017, 11:25 PM 

I'm pretty disappointed tbh. Given the quality of the original Five Years doc I was, perhaps unrealistically, expecting this to be similarly good. But with very little (and I mean very little!) archive to work with it wasn't going to have the same impact.

Strange to say, but yes, too much 70s content! Pretty lame to try and tie in Lazarus to the D Dogs show, or Stars Are Out Tonight to DBs views on fame in the 70s, just so the 90 mins could be padded out with familiar, albeit great, archive.

I am actually starting to tire of seeing TV at a desk pulling songs apart, plus dropping bare DB vocals over his videos, which worked really well for Nacho's unofficial trailer, got boring here too.

What it mostly lacked for me was the presence of DB himself. I really liked the opening section on the Reality tour, with some genuine fun and revealing footage from the man himself, plus people who knew him well, professionally at least.

As for TND and Blackstar, I didn't get anything near to the excitement I felt reading those entries in the new Nicholas Pegg edition.

Highlights for me were any behind the scenes stuff - wish we could have seen more from the video shoots, WAWN approached that, but even that felt like we weren't being given the best stuff.

Oh well.

 
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Gabor
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Re: The Last Five Years by BBC

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January 8 2017, 12:52 AM 

As a documentary it wasn't good at all, it was all over the place and had no real structure despite being chronological. Seemed like they've used everything they got and stretched that too thinly to 90 minutes. That said, it was an emotional watch for me, particularly tonight.

 
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Doctorocto
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Re: The Last Five Years by BBC

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January 8 2017, 1:17 AM 

I can hear ya. It was great but neither fish nor fowl. It couldn't decide whether it was about his his last five years or a biography.

Fantastic clips. Interviews were good. Hadn't seen the Hype 'Supermen' clip before or some of that black and white Diamond Dogs tour footage. Great that they got to talk to so many people but it was spread thin. We got 1 minute soundbites I bet the original footage is great and a lot longer. The end was heartfelt though.
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J
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Re: The Last Five Years by BBC

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January 8 2017, 2:06 AM 

Think it was wonderful. Emotional yet full of joy and loads of stuff I didnt know or realise. Could have done without the coda of course. "Mouse part?" Visconti killing the mood as per usual.


Jx

"Look up here, I'm in danger"

 
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Thylacine
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January 8 2017, 2:12 AM 

I enjoyed it - but was a bit shocked they didn't include much from "The Next day" at all. Not even a section on the title song/video. That's strange, right?

I'd love to know what the original "wrist slitting" song Bowie wanted at the end of Lazarus might have been.

 
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Em
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"Ended rather abruptly"

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January 8 2017, 2:17 AM 

So did he.

 
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AnAlligator
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Re: The Last Five Years by BBC

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January 8 2017, 8:31 AM 

So much not covered, no mention at all of the exhibition and the attendant European visit and advert, nothing on the TND video, nothing from James Murphy, and loads more I can't be bothered to think of.

Really wasn't expecting it to focus on the 70s, especially as the OP said, the title refers to 2011-2016.

Seems the content was dictated by who they could get for interviews - not a great basis for making a doc...

 
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Anonymous
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Re: The Last Five Years by BBC

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January 8 2017, 9:27 AM 

Utter dross.

 
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andy
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January 8 2017, 11:10 AM 

Agree with Doc , loved the Hype stuff and the bits about Cine filming DDs .

 
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Loww
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January 8 2017, 10:42 AM 

And again I shed a tear........

 
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mikewest
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January 8 2017, 11:56 AM 

A bit disappointed, there could have been more leading up to the highliine festival and assumptions of that, no last interview, no last performance or Arcade Fire , there could have been a lot more.
What I was happy with was the Hype, 1974 live footage and snippets of the supposed 1984 musical footage .

 
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sickbycj
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Re: The Last Five Years by BBC

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January 8 2017, 1:11 PM 

I really really enjoyed the program happy.gif
I didn't expect there to be any new footage from the last few years, if there was to be any it would have been widely known beforehand.
We have to accept that there is very little left that is new, Bowie kept things very private and the program was never going to suddenly find hours of film of him post-2004 - if it was there, we would know about it.
As far as I know, the extra few seconds of him shown during the WAWN video is the only new footage we've seen for literally years.
It was good to see happy.gif

 
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AnAlligator
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January 8 2017, 1:36 PM 

I don't agree - what about the new footage we saw last year from the Life On Mars? video shoot? I'm not hankering to see footage of Bowie frail ot struggling, but from the little we saw from WAWN he seemed to be on good form and having a laugh as usual. Would have liked to have seen more of that. Didn't expect it, but if you advertise a 90 minute program billed as covering 2011-2016, that's what should be in it right?

 
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sickbycj
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January 8 2017, 1:59 PM 

I don't think a documentary has to be new footage, it's just telling a story in whatever way is appropriate.
As die-hard fans we will have scoured the internet for any and every bit of Bowie footage, so there is not much that is new to us, but for the general viewer, much of what was on the program would be new.
Don't get me wrong, I would dearly love to see any unreleased footage post-2004 but I am doubtful whether it exists, and I certainly didn't expect to see it in this documentary.
As a general summing up of the last 5 years, I thought it was pretty good.

 
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Anonymous
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January 8 2017, 2:01 PM 

To me it was just ok..the unseen footage was more like fragments, but interesting ones nonetheless. I did think it was a it disjointed and it was hard to tell what narrative they were going for. Also agree the Diamond Dogs stuff seemed sort of out of place (though that might be a prejudice of mine, since Ive never been a fan of that particular album, or tour). The TV stuff was interesting, though it would have been more of a surprise had we not been spoiled on it.

Could have been better, but worth checking out.

 
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Dash_Away
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Re: The Last Five Years by BBC

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January 8 2017, 4:34 PM 

Overall impressions: underwhelming and a missed opportunity. Promised far less than it's title promised.

Firstly, the prologue concerning the Reality tour went on far, far too long - about 20 minutes or so. What on earth for? We all know what happened. He took ill in 2004 and that lead to the decade of silence. End of. That should've been wrapped up in about 5 minutes or so. Instead, it just went on and on.

Ditto, the The Next Day and Blackstar bands playing live alongside Bowie's isolated vocals. Again, what was the purpose of this? Why not just play the recorded tracks. Nice to see the band members, sure. But I would've been more interested in hearing them talk about that period in the recording studio, rather than to hear them play a basic demo run through of the tracks.

Very little insight into the making of these albums. Nor how they were received and reviewed when they came out. With the exception of the very likable Maria Schneider, the band members of Blackstar were only seen talking rather briefly and as for any analysis as to what was motivating Bowie at that time, well, all we got was that he was in great spirits and wearing slippers in the studio. Wow.

No inkling as to why he remained silent during the last decade and how this retreat from public view once more made him a figure of intrigue and mystique. I know this was not a documentry about his private life, but it would've been far more interesting to at least attempt to give some clue as to how and why his reputation soared once again during that last decade. Instead, we got zilch.

Lazarus the play (like the final two albums) got barely touched upon, in terms of the creative processes behind it. I wanted to see more of Enda Walsh and Ivo Van Hove, and how Bowie worked with them, what he was thinking, doing. They - like the Donny McCaslin band - were virtually given a few token minutes airtime and that was it. Absurd.

Far, far, far too much footage of the 70's/60's stuff (especially the Diamond Dogs tour). All - like the silly, overlong prologue - at the expense of concentrating of the final years. It seemed disjointed and needless, this flitting backwards and forwards. It was like the makers were, in the end, just using to it fill the time. Because, other than that, it didn't really belong in this documentry. Which after all, purported to be about his final five years .

Speaking of which, no mention of the V @ A exhibiton. Inexplicable, that.

No mention either (except maybe in passing) of how his return was greeted in 2013.

I would've liked, too, more information on the background to the last four videos. With the exception of Stars , it seemed they were rather skirted past and in the case of The Next Day , not even mentioned or shown (but we seen footage of Heroes and Diamond Dogs from the 70's, so that made it alright then. Not.)

There were some good moments: I especially liked Maria Schneider's contribution and hearing the isolated vocals (to a degree). But overall, this was a documentry that missed a golden opportunity. I wanted to see a programme that added something new to exactly what lay behind the creativity of Bowie's last years. Both professionally and personally. Sadly, what I was left with was a sense of disappointment. Like I said, a missed opportunity. Shame really.

 
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Michael.
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Re: The Last Five Years by BBC

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January 8 2017, 4:39 PM 

I haven't watched the complete thing yet but what I did notice near the beginning was that it said 'The Final Five Years *of his career*, not his actual final five years on the planet.

His career effectively ended in early 2004 with the heart problem, so the final five years of his career would be 1999 - 2004.

Mist.
'When I saw the result, I threw up. My body rejected it.'

 
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Anonymous
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Re: The Last Five Years by BBC

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January 8 2017, 6:09 PM 

Cant say id agree that 99-04 were the last 5 years of his career,not sure how you make that out, apart from not touring and not giving interviews he released records, videos and wrote a play in his last 5 years, his career ended the day he died

 
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