HBO and Bill Simmons Set to Debut New Documentary Series, ‘Music Box’

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

Starting Thursday (November 18) and running every Thursday for six weeks, HBO and producer-podcaster extraordinaire, Bill Simmons, is set to premiere their new music documentary series, “Music Box.”

The first film, Jagged, is set to run on November 18, though it has endured some harsh criticism from its centerpiece Alanis Morrisette, who said, “I was lulled into a false sense of security and their salacious agenda became apparent immediately upon my seeing the first cut of the film. This is when I knew our visions were in fact painfully diverged. This was not the story I agreed to tell,” about her participation in the doc.

That is followed on November 25 by DMX: Don’t Try To Understand. For a full list of films, see below.

On his popular podcast, The Bill Simmons Podcast, which aired late Thursday night, Simmons said he’d spent the past three-and-a-half years helping to shepherd the project, which he executive produced. The series is part of Simmons’ Ringer Films.

HBO has already released the documentary, Woodstock ’99, about the famed (failure of) concert, via the Music Box series.

According to HBO, Jagged, which is directed by Alison Klayman, features “an in-depth interview with Alanis Morisette on her groundbreaking 1995 album Jagged Little Pill, as well as never-before-seen archival material, the film explores her beginnings as a young Canadian pop star, the rocky path she faced navigating the male-dominated music industry, and the glass ceiling she shattered on her journey to becoming the international icon and empowered artist she is today.”

The premium channel explains that the DMX-centered follow-up, which is directed by Christopher Frierson, focuses “on a year in the life of rapper Earl ‘DMX’ Simmons as he is released from prison in early 2019, the film bears witness to a man searching for reinvention and redemption, striving to stay true to himself while re-establishing himself as a father, an artist and an icon.”

On December 2, HBO will premiere the Penny Lane-directed Listening to Kenny G: “A humorous but incisive look at the saxophonist Kenny G., the best-selling instrumental artist of all time, and quite possibly one of the most famous musicians today, the film investigates the artist formerly known as Kenny Gorelick, unraveling the allure of the man responsible for the term “smooth jazz”, and questioning the very definition of excellence.”

On December 9, HBO will premiere the John Maggio-directed Mr. Saturday Night: “This documentary chronicles the meteoric career of Australian entrepreneur Robert Stigwood, who gambled on a magazine article about the Brooklyn night club scene and turned it into the 1977 cultural touchstone Saturday Night Fever, forever changing the way film studios approached movie soundtrack synergy, leaving an indelible mark on American cinema for decades to come.”

And on December 16, HBO will premiere the Tommy Oliver-directed Juice WRLD: Into the Abyss: “An intimate and often eye-opening exploration of the life and all-too-short career of wunderkind rapper Juice WRLD, this real-time account of the Chicago native details his struggles to navigate his meteoric rise to fame, his drug use, and mental health issues through a wealth of never-before-seen footage, unreleased music, and dozens of industry interviews.”

Juice WRLD, who passed away in 2019, has a new posthumous album out on Dec 10.

All the movies will re-air on HBO Max.

Main photo courtesy of Kenny G

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