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In the Court of the Crimson King: King Crimson at 50

What began as a straightforward documentary about the cult rock band King Crimson as it turned 50, mutated into an exploration of time, death, family, and the transcendent power of music to change lives. But with jokes. (NR, 86 min.)


Thursday, February 2, 2023

7:00 PM

Robert Fripp and the members of prog-rock giants King Crimson look back on 50 years of art, discipline and transcendence in this fascinating, funny and moving film. King Crimson is a band that people literally are dying to be in. In the Court of the Crimson King is a dark, comic film for anyone who wonders whether it is worth sacrificing everything for just a single moment of transcendence. For over 50 years Robert Fripp, also famous for his work with Bowie and Eno, has overseen a unique creative environment in which freedom and responsibility conspire to place extraordinary demands on the band’s members – only alleviated by the applause of an audience whose adoration threatens to make their lives even harder. It’s a rewarding and perilous space in which the extraordinary is possible, nothing is certain, and not everyone survives intact. [Monoduo Films]

Director: Toby Amies
Genre(s): Documentary, Music

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— Uncut

"Utterly enthralling"

— The Guardian

"One of the finest rock documentaries I’ve ever seen."

— Kyle Smith, National Review

"The film is angular and abrasive, exacting and playful, extremely funny and achingly melancholy."

— The Observer

"Rarely does a music documentary so vividly evoke both the artistic approach and the tricky personality of its subject."

— Wendy Ide, Observer (UK)

"Illuminating. A fascinating look at both a venerable institution, the dynamics of working as a multi-limbed unit that’s ruled by a single iron fist, and what it takes to play this type of music."

— Rolling Stone

"'In the Court of the Crimson King' is really about as good as rock documentaries get, in capturing the essence of a group of musicians and how they relate to each other, the world and a muse whose demands result in literal and figurative calluses."

— Chris Willman, Variety