13 Jun, 2024

Placebo's Deep Dive into Legacy and Bowie in Upcoming Documentary

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Placebo's Deep Dive into Legacy and Bowie in Upcoming Documentary

Get ready, Placebo fans—your favorite alt-rock legends are back with a cinematic treat that promises to be as introspective as it is revealing. Titled "This Search For Meaning", the band’s second feature-length documentary, crafted by the award-winning Scottish filmmaker Oscar Sansom, delves into the very essence of what makes Placebo tick. And yes, David Bowie’s influence is a key part of the story.

Forget a simple origin tale. This documentary promises an intimate exploration of the band’s evolution, tackling themes of surveillance, culture, scrutiny, sexuality, gender identity, addiction, and trauma. It’s not just about where they came from but about the legacy they’re still creating.

Frontman Brian Molko and bassist-guitarist Stefan Olsdal offer candid insights through informal conversations, while artists inspired by Placebo—like Garbage’s Shirley Manson, Robbie Williams, Self Esteem (Rebecca Lucy Taylor), Idles frontman Joe Talbot, Yungblud, and contemporary artist Stuart Semple—share their perspectives.

In a press release, it’s stated that the film captures a universal quest: “The result is honest and rewarding – capturing the sense that we are all just trying to figure out our place in this world; and hopefully making some sense of it too.”

The documentary’s narrative is woven around performances of songs from "Never Let Me Go", filmed at the legendary Twickenham Film Studios. Fans will also be treated to exclusive archive footage, some of which has never been seen before, spanning the entirety of Placebo’s career.

One of the most poignant elements of the film is its exploration of Placebo’s creative and personal collaboration with David Bowie. The rock icon’s influence on the band’s music and their personal lives is deeply felt and thoughtfully examined. Both Molko and Olsdal have spoken openly about how Bowie’s passing in 2016 had a profound impact on them, influencing their recent work and personal growth.

While there’s no exact release date yet, the documentary is expected to hit theaters this September. 

This announcement follows the release of Placebo’s first-ever live album box set, "Placebo Live", which was a milestone in their 25-year career. The box set includes performances from Mexico, Spain, and London, with the live album "Collapse Into Never: Placebo Live In Europe 2023" recorded at the Low Festival in Spain.

Reflecting on their journey and the influence of Bowie, Olsdal noted that Bowie’s advice to embrace more singing was finally taken to heart on their latest album. For Molko, Bowie’s legacy goes beyond music: David taught me how to be a better person, but it took his passing for me to really reflect on it. When it was happening, I was far too arrogant and far too drunk to notice the real impact of what was going on. The thing with David was that he treated everyone who he came into contact with with the same dignity, kindness and humanity – it didn’t matter what your status was. You could be the waiter or Johnny Cash. You’d get the same amount of respect. That’s really David’s legacy for me.”

So, gear up for an emotional and enlightening experience with "This Search For Meaning"—a film that promises to unravel the complexities of Placebo’s journey and pay homage to the enduring legacy of David Bowie.

Photo:  Rise Records

Source: NME

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