It’s been in the works for awhile, but now director Cameron Crowe (Almost Famous) will finally be releasing his documentary Pearl Jam Twenty, a portrait of the band from the filmmaker’s own perspective. Crafted from more than 1,200 hours of rare and never-before-seen footage, recent interviews with the band and live concert performances, the documentary offers an intimate glimpse in Pearl Jam’s journey from their formation to their launch into fame and topping the charts and their lives and work today. The film will have a limited theatrical release in September and hopefully a wider release shortly thereafter. But for those who won’t be able to catch it in theaters, it will air on PBS on Friday, October 21st at 9/8c as part of their American Masters series.
Crowe says, “When I set out to make this film, my mission was to assemble the best-of-the best from Pearl Jam’s past and present and give audiences a visceral feeling of what it is to love music and to feel it deeply—to be inside the journey of a band that has carved their own path. There is only one band of their generation for which a film like this could even be made, and I’m honored to be the one given the opportunity to make it.” As a big fan of Crowe and knowing his love for music and rock journalism (Almost Famous is based on Crowe’s real life), I just know this documetnary is going to be something special, and I can’t wait to check it out. See the first image of the film after the jump along with the full press release with more information.
Here’s the press release:
PEARL JAM RETRACES THEIR FOOTSTEPS WITH CAMERON CROWE RETROSPECTIVE FILM
Theatrical Release of “Pearl Jam Twenty” September 2011 Celebrates the Band’s 20-Year History
LOS ANGELES, CA (MAY 25, 2011) – In celebration of their 20 year anniversary, Pearl Jam is set to release the feature film Pearl Jam Twenty, a definitive portrait of the band as told by Academy Award®-winning filmmaker and music journalist, Cameron Crowe. The captivating documentary gives fans and audiences an intimate first glimpse into Pearl Jam’s journey culled from more than 1,200 hours of rarely and never-before-seen footage, over 24 hours of recent interviews with the band, as well as live footage of their spellbinding concert performances.
Pearl Jam Twenty will enjoy a unique, simultaneous worldwide theatrical release in select cities and venues in September and thereafter will roll out in an accelerated fashion. Abramorama, headed by Richard Abramowitz, who steered the theatrical campaigns for Anvil! The Story of Anvil and the Oscar®-nominated Exit Through The Gift Shop, is releasing the independent film in the U.S. with Arts Alliance Media, best known for their deft handling of Iron Maiden’s award-winning documentary Flight 666 and, more recently, Foo Fighters Back and Forth, handling the theatrical release overseas. The film’s U.S. television premiere will be Friday, October 21st at 9 p.m. (ET/PT), as part of the prestigious PBS “American Masters” series, airing during the first-ever PBS Arts Fall Festival. The soundtrack and DVD of the film will be released worldwide by Columbia Records/Sony Music Entertainment, with the soundtrack released simultaneous to the film in September and the DVD following with a release in October.
Told in big themes and bold colors with blistering sound, Pearl Jam Twenty chronicles the years leading up to the band’s formation, the chaos that ensued soon-after being catapulted into superstardom, their step back from the spotlight with the instinct of self-preservation, and the creation of a trusted circle that would surround them—giving way to a work culture that would sustain them. The film celebrates the freedom that allows the band to make music without losing themselves, their fans, or the music lovers they’d always been.
“When I set out to make this film, my mission was to assemble the best-of-the best from Pearl Jam’s past and present and give audiences a visceral feeling of what it is to love music and to feel it deeply—to be inside the journey of a band that has carved their own path,” said Cameron Crowe. “There is only one band of their generation for which a film like this could even be made, and I’m honored to be the one given the opportunity to make it.”
Crowe was among the band’s inner circle when they formed and has maintained a close friendship with the band since his days as a reporter for Rolling Stone in Seattle. Almost 20 years after the band’s inception, Eddie, Jeff, Stone and Mike gave their longtime friend the okay to raid the vault and assemble from it the story no one but those closest to them ever knew.
As part of their year-long celebration, Pearl Jam is also releasing a Pearl Jam Twenty soundtrack and book of the same name, to accompany the film. The soundtrack is comprised of a selected track listing by Cameron Crowe—making the album a true companion piece to the film. Published by Simon & Schuster in the U.S. and
Atlantic Books in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa, the Pearl Jam Twenty book is an aesthetically stunning chronicle of the band’s past two decades. Compiled and written by veteran music writer
Jonathan Cohen with Mark Wilkerson, the book includes a foreword by Cameron Crowe (and material from all his own band interviews) as well as original interviews with Bruce Springsteen, Neil Young, and Dave Grohl. In addition, the band recently announced tour dates in Canada in September as well as two shows in the U.S over Labor Day weekend at Alpine Valley outside of Chicago.
After two-decades, Pearl Jam remains a giant musical force and one of the biggest and most magnetic touring acts in the world. With over 60 million albums sold worldwide, they continue to create and perform great music—all on their own terms. Pearl Jam is currently in the studio recording their 10th studio album, marking the bands’ second record released through their label, Monkeywrench Records.
2011 is a yearlong celebration of Pearl Jam’s twenty-year history. The band started off the year with the release of a new live compilation album, Live on Ten Legs, followed by the expanded reissues of Vs. and Vitalogy in March. Things kick into high gear in September with the Alpine Valley Labor Day anniversary weekend concert, a ten-date Canadian tour, followed by the theatrical release of Cameron Crowe’s film, Pearl Jam Twenty in September with accompanying book and soundtrack album and subsequent PBS airdate of October, ending the year with the DVD of the film available in October. For the latest Pearl Jam happenings, visit www.pearljam.com