Back in February, HBO acquired the rights to air the BBC-produced David Bowie documentary The Last Five Years in the United States. In anticipation of its upcoming January 8 premiere (on what would’ve been the late icon’s 71st birthday) a new trailer for the film premiered on Billboard Tuesday, featuring Bowie’s thoughts on his creative process and the importance of pushing further artistically than one might normally be comfortable going.
“Always go a little further into the water than you feel you’re capable of being in and when you don’t feel that your feet are quite touching the bottom, you’re just about in the right place to do something exciting,” Bowie remarks toward the trailer’s end.
The film, which was released overseas last January, documents the last years of Bowie’s life and the artistic renaissance the artist experienced even as his health waned. Covering the production of 2013’s The Next Day, 2016’s Blackstar, and his stage musical Lazarus, The Last Five Years revealed that Bowie had hoped to continue working despite his illness.
“I still don’t know if he started making Blackstar before he knew he was ill, or after,” director Francis Whatley told the Guardian in January. “People are so desperate for Blackstar to be this parting gift that Bowie made for the world when he knew he was dying but I think it’s simplistic to think that. There is more ambiguity there than people want to acknowledge. I don’t think he knew he was going to die.”
Whatley previously helmed the 2013 Bowie doc David Bowie: Five Years, which covered the artist’s 1970-1975 Ziggy Stardust era.