Arts

Spike Lee made a film of ‘David Byrne’s American Utopia’ – and it’s coming to Australian cinemas

American Utopia

A film documenting the experience that is David Byrne's American Utopia is coming to cinemas - it's called David Byrne's American Utopia.

Following the film's world premiere when it opened the Toronto International Film Festival, the movie will be hitting Australian cinemas this month on November 26.

This acclaimed rock spectacle has been directed by none other than the legendary Spike Lee. It's a cinema event like no other, a film that makes you feel as though you are front row at one of the classic concerts in the history of modern theatre.

Frontman of Talking Heads, David Byrne is the creator of American Utopia - which is based on the album of the same name. The concert event was an international success, and found homes at Broadway’s Hudson Theatre in New York City and Sydney’s ICC theatre during 2019 and 2020. Now, this stage experience is coming to the silver screen.

American Utopia is a performance designed to strengthen our connections to each other through art and creativity. It's one that delves into political and social issues, and reminds us of the power of human expression. The show is Byrne performing onstage with 11 other musicians from around the world. A modern musical, the performance include a catalogue from Byrne’s latest album; and tracks by other musicians such as a rendition of Janelle Monáe’s “Hell You Talmbout,” which poignantly features the ensemble calling out the names of fallen black Americans unjustly killed in recent years.

Lee filmed the project with 11 camera operators, his way of intimately capturing the multi-faceted production. The performance was choreographed by Annie-B Parson, and Tony-nominated Alex Timbers (director of Moulin Rouge!) joined as a production consultant. Together Lee and Byrne create a powerful intersection, an entertaining spectacle examining race relations and social issues we face every day.

You can watch the trailer for the film below and be sure to mark your calendars for the theatre release on November 26.

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