Brian Eno Documentary in the Works

A documentary spanning the 50-year career of musician, composer, and producer Brian Eno is in the works.

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Directed by Helvetica director Gary Hustwit, Eno features hundreds of hours of never-before-seen footage, unreleased music, and visual art from Eno’s archive. Eno and Hustwit, who previously produced films about Wilco (I Am Trying to Break Your Heart: A Film About Wilco) and Mavis Staples (Mavis!), first collaborated in 2017 when Eno composed the score for Hustwit’s documentary Rams, a film about German designer Dieter Ram.

In line with how Eno has used technology in his music compositions, the film will be released in multiple versions and employ “groundbreaking generative technology in its creation and exhibition,” according to a descriptor of the film. The software used in the film is also proprietary and was developed by Hustwit and digital artist Brendan Dawes to provide unique viewing experiences via multiple digital formats, cinema screenings, and site-specific installations.

A self-professed “sonic landscaper,” for more than five decades Eno has continued to innovate music through technology, from his time with Roxy Music in the early 1970s and throughout his solo career, where he pioneered “ambient music” with his 1978 released Ambient 1: Music for Airports. As a producer, Eno, who also composed the startup sound for Microsoft Windows, has worked with everyone from David Bowie, U2, Talking Heads, and dozens of other artists throughout his career.

Eno marks the first authorized documentary about the music icon. Produced by Brooklyn-based production company Film First, the film is expected to be released in 2023.

“He is the perfect subject to use this sort of approach,” said Hustwit in a statement. “He’s turned down many previous projects because he didn’t want to do a conventional bio-doc. I think of ‘Eno’ as an art film about creativity, with the output of Brian’s 50-year career as its raw material.”

Photo by Rob Ball/Redferns

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