Official Trailer for the long awaited documentary “In The Court of the Crimson King” by Toby Amies. An official selection for the 2022 SXSW Film Festival, with a world premiere in Austin in March.
What began as a traditional documentary about the legendary band King Crimson as it turned 50, mutated into an exploration of time, death, family, and the transcendent power of music to change lives; but with jokes.
“In the Court of the Crimson King” is a dark, comic film for anyone who wonders whether it is worth sacrificing everything for just a single moment of transcendence. It explores the unique creative environment of King Crimson, one in which freedom and responsibility conspire to place extraordinary demands on the band’s members – only alleviated by the applause of an audience whose adoration threatens to make their lives even harder. It’s a rewarding and perilous space in which the extraordinary is possible, nothing is certain, and not everyone survives intact.
Watch the official trailer through the YouTube player below:
“It’s the dream band viewed from outside,” former drummer Bill Bruford says in the clip. “It’s the band you could do anything you wanted to in it.” But the trailer isn’t all easy praise, as various alumni reflect on the tensions and dysfunction that’s seemed to follow King Crimson since their 1968 formation.
Some of the quotes appear as out-of-context quips. “When I came back from making some of that music, my hair had fallen out,” says former singer and guitarist Adrian Belew. Guitarist and co-founder Robert Fripp, their lone consistent member, fires off one-liners like, “I can’t be the only sane man in this asylum” and “I don’t have the problem; the problems lie elsewhere.” And at one point, co-founding multi-instrumentalist Ian McDonald — who left the group soon after their seminal debut LP, “In the Court of the Crimson King” — apologizes to his former bandmate: “I love you, Robert, and I’m sorry I broke your heart.”
It’s not all dark, though. Fripp directs some words of kindness toward the most recent iteration of Crimson: the eight-member, triple-drummer lineup that might end up as their last. “This is the first King Crimson where there’s not at least one member of the band that actively resents my presence,“ he says. “Which is astonishing.” Fripp offered his thoughts of the film in an email to Rolling Stone, writing: “A grown-up documentary showing the lives of King Crimson’s working players during 2018–19. The rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle of glamour and excess in fine detail, including getting on and off buses, living and dying, resentment, a little humor and even some music.”