Big news coming in at The Hollywood Reporter today, not from the land of the ice and snow, but the sunny banks of the Cote d’Azur. Over at Cannes’ bustling orgy of dealmaking known as the Marché, a new documentary about rock ’n’ roll legends Led Zeppelin has been announced as up for grabs.
The still-untitled film comes from Bernard McMahon, celebrated for directing the American Epic series, a deep dive into the rich history of roots songs in America. McMahon’s British heritage, tendency for dedicated research, and circumspect view of musical history all suit him perfectly to get the Led out with his latest effort.
Led Zeppelin remains one of the most important and influential bands in all of rock-dom, a link between the first half of the 20th century (folk, blues) and the second half (heavy metal, prog). It’s impossible to hear the opening drum beat of ‘When the Levee Breaks’ without getting chills, such is the depth of their cultural permeation.
The top-to-bottom examination of the band’s meteoric rise and legacy is said to include exclusive interviews with remaining members Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, and John Paul Jones, along with little-seen archival footage to give the dearly departed John Bonham a presence in the film as well. And of course, diehard fans can also expect rare studio recordings, photographs, and a new state-of-the-art restoration for the songs included in the film.
The currently unfinished film arrives on a wave of documentary salutes to Boomer nostalgia acts, following the path previously blazed by last year’s Long Strange Trip, a Martin Scorsese-approved ode to the Grateful Dead.
There’s only going to be more and more of this as the people who were in their twenties during the ’70s age through their sixties – it’s only a matter of time until Jethro Tull receive the docu-profile treatment, and rock flute comes roaring back to the musical mainstream.
Published 8 May 2019
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