First Look At Cameron Crowe's Documentary 'Pearl Jam Twenty'

by Kevin Jagernauth
May 25, 2011 6:20 AM
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Film Will Screen At Venice Film Festival; Will Make TV Premiere On 'American Masters' On October 21st



Update: On Cameron Crowe's blog the filmmaker revealed that the documentary will screen as part of the upcoming 68th annual Venice Film Festival which begins on August 31st.

Yes, it's been 20 years. It's been so long in fact, that when Pearl Jam were first kicking in the early stages of their career, people still used Polaroid cameras. But time flies, and believe it or not, 2011 marks two decades since "Jeremy" first stormed the airwaves. Fans and music lovers alike will get to relive those years with Cameron Crowe's forthcoming documentary "Pearl Jam Twenty."

Already the topic of much discussion this year, the documentary has been assembled from 18 to 20 hours of material from the band’s long career as well as footage Crowe has shot over the last year and a half. The director told Rolling Stone recently, “It’s the best souvenirs of the past. Some fabled footage you’ve heard exists but have never seen, and some interviews. So while [Elton John documentary] 'The Union' was, ‘How do we buff up the cinéma vérité?,’ ‘Pearl Jam Twenty’ is, ‘How do we do ‘The Kids Are Alright’ of Pearl Jam, and sonic blast the best stuff?’ It’s a wider scope.” The film will be released in theaters alongside a soundtrack and a book featuring anecdotes, memorabilia, photos, tour notes, drawings as well as an intro by Crowe this September, but in case you miss it on the big screen, you won't have to wait too long.

"Pearl Jam Twenty" is set to hit the acclaimed PBS series “American Masters,” debuting on October 21st at 9 p.m. And if you still miss it, the documentary will hit DVD the same month as well so you have no reason for skipping out on this one.

“When I set out to make this film, my mission was to assemble the best-of-the best from Pearl Jam’s past and present and give audiences a visceral feeling of what it is to love music and to feel it deeply—to be inside the journey of a band that has carved their own path,” Crowe said. “There is only one band of their generation for which a film like this could even be made, and I’m honored to be the one given the opportunity to make it.”

While this writer isn't a huge fan of the band (though their album Vs. is still kind of great), they were one of the biggest acts of the alternative "movement" of the early '90s and their story is definitely a fascinating one. We're eager to see the film, in particular because Crowe has such a close attachment to the band and their music. And if the old footage is anything as awesome as this Polaroid (which makes us feel really old), it's going to be quite the trip down memory lane.

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