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Almost exactly two years after the death of iconic star David Bowie, the Francis Whately-directed documentary chronicling the final half-decade of Bowie’s life, “David Bowie: The Last Five Years”, will be released in the United States.
The documentary will first air Monday, January 8, at 8 p.m. ET/PT on HBO. If you don’t have cable or can’t get to a TV, you can either watch it live as it airs on HBO, or anytime on-demand, by signing up for one of the following cable-free, live-TV streaming services. They cost a monthly fee but all come with a free trial, meaning you can watch “The Last Five Years” at no cost:
Amazon Prime: If you have Amazon Prime or want to start a free 30-day trial of Amazon Prime, you can watch live HBO and all of HBO’s on-demand content through Amazon Channels. Amazon Prime costs $10.00 per month, while the HBO channel costs $14.99 per month, but you can sign up for a free trial of both. Once signed up, you can watch live HBO or on-demand content on your computer via the Amazon website, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the Amazon Video app
DirecTV Now: HBO is a $5 per month add-on that can be added to any of DirecTV Now’s four main channel packages. You can sign up for a free 7-day trial no matter what package you choose, plus you can get $25 off your first month if you enter promo code “BDAY2017”. Once signed up, you can watch live HBO or on-demand content on your computer via the DirecTV Now website, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the DirecTV Now app
Sling TV: HBO is a $15 per month add-on that can be added to either of Sling TV’s base packages. You can sign up for a free 7-day trial, and then you can watch live HBO or on-demand content on your computer via your browser, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the Sling TV app
HBO Now: HBO’s standalone streaming service allows you to watch HBO for $14.99 per month. You can watch on your computer via your browser, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the HBO Now app
The 89-minute documentary, which serves as a companion piece to the 2013 documentary–also directed by Whately–“David Bowie” Five Years”, reflects on the final years of Bowie’s life–a period that saw him make two albums (“The Next Day” and “Black Star”) and create a New York musical, “Lazarus.”
Previously released in the UK and at film festivals in the United States, “The Last Five Years” has already collected its fair share of glowing reviews. One of those, from Variety’s Owen Gleiberman, calls it “an essential rockumentary that meditates, hauntingly, on Bowie’s life, art and death.” He further explains what to expect in the documentary:
In “The Last Five Years,” we see clips of Bowie culled from throughout his career, and we sit around with the musicians he made those last two albums with, and with his longtime producer, the genial Tony Visconti, all of whom recall him with fondness and insight. It was a special time in Bowie’s life: more relaxed but more guarded. He’d unplugged from the circus of celebrity (he’s quoted as calling fame “a very luxuriant mental hospital,” in which you’re cared for like a patient but locked up), and he wanted no pressure.
Bowie, surely, remains present in most of our lives today, but this documentary offers another unique opportunity to delve into the final moments of creativity from the rock genius. Undoubtedly, as with everything else involving the iconic star, it’s a must-watch piece of art.