NEW YORK – Martin Scorsese today announced that he would be releasing a 12 part documentary on the 1980s pop phenomenon of the New Romantics.
Following his critically rated History of the Blues musical documentary as well as films on George Harrison and Bob Dylan, Scorsese has decided to turn his attention to the musical inventiveness of such groups as Heaven 17, Spandau Ballet and Duran Duran.
The Aviator and Shutter Island director told Studio Exec EXCLUSIVELY:
Coming right in the midst of the grimmest period in British history, following on from the spit drenched nihilism of punk and played out to the background of labor strikes and the threat of imminent thermo-nuclear destruction, synth-pop was some of the most authentic and gritty music I’ve ever heard. Bands such as Visage and The Human League came out of the slums of Birmingham and London and they were all wearing eyeliner.
Why is this period so important to you?
I’ve always loved music, second only in my love to films and even then. The second British Invasion which saw groups like Culture Club break into the US charts and ask hard questions of the culture. Questions like ‘Do you really want to hurt me?’ and ‘Don’t you Want me Baby?’ and even ‘Who’s the dandy highwayman?’
Featuring interviews with Gary Numan and Annie Lennox, the 12 part series will have a different director for each segment. Scorsese explained:
Clint Eastwood is a huge fan of Tubeway Army and will be directing the episode devoted to them and Gary Numan, while Werner Herzog will be doing a profile on German group Kraftwerk. Spike Lee is to contribute a documentary on Frankie Goes to Hollywood and Howard Kelly.
Martin Scorsese’s History of New Romanticism will be shown on HBO tomorrow night and then every week for a year.