After winning an Oscar for Best Documentary Feature for their 2015 movie Amy that chronicled the life of the late singer Amy Winehouse, filmmakers Asif Kapadia and James Gay-Rees are heading to the small screen to explore a much more wide-ranging piece of music history.
1971: The Year That Music Changed Everything is an eight-episode documentary series that uses archival footage and interviews to weave a tapestry depicting the collision of politics and music in 1971, and how it impacted artists like Marvin Gaye, Bob Marley, The Who, The Rolling Stones, Aretha Franklin, and many more. Check out the first trailer below.
There must be something in the air right now, because in addition to 1971, this year will also see the release of another music-themed documentary about a similar time period. Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson’s feature directorial debut, which is called Summer of Soul (…Or, When The Revolution Could Not Be Televised), focuses on a nearly-forgotten music festival from 1969 that featured an unreal lineup of talent but was overshadowed in history by Woodstock. 1971 is set a few years later, but many of the same underlying societal and cultural issues were very much in play and helped to inspire some of the most amazing songs of the past 50 years.
Kapadia (Amy, Senna) is executive producing this docuseries alongside Gay-Rees (Amy, Senna, Exit Through the Gift Shop), David Joseph, and Adam Barker. Kapadia is credited as “series director,” but producer Danielle Peck also directs alongside James Rogan, so Kapadia won’t be tackling every episode himself. The show is based on David Hepworth’s book “Never a Dull Moment: 1971 The Year That Rock Exploded.” AppleTV+ is building up a nice little library of music-related titles with this, Beastie Boys Story, Watch the Sound with Mark Ronson, Bruce Springsteen’s Letter to You, and Billie Eilish: The World’s a Little Blurry.
Here is the official synopsis for the upcoming series:
A deep-dive, rich with archival footage and interviews, “1971: The Year That Music Changed Everything,” shows how the musical icons of the time were influenced by the changing tides of history; and, in turn, how they used their music to inspire hope, change and the culture around them. The series examines the most iconic artists and songs that we still listen to 50 years later, including The Rolling Stones, Aretha Franklin, Bob Marley, Marvin Gaye, The Who, Joni Mitchell, Lou Reed and more.
1971: The Year That Music Changed Everything debuts on AppleTV+ on May 21, 2021.
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