Review of ‘In the Court of the Crimson King’: 50 years of out of place rock | ET REALITY


Director Toby Amies’ documentary “In the Court of the Crimson King” is part road chronicle, part retrospective, and captures King Crimson, the adventurous British rock outfit, in what may be the end of their career. his existence. Robert Fripp, for years the band’s only original member, has strongly suggested that their 2021 tour would be their last. (He hasn’t toured since.)

One of the creators of the subgenre called progressive rock or art rock, King Crimson is, depending on who you ask, either incredibly pretentious or surprisingly adventurous. Fripp, an endlessly thoughtful and meticulously articulate guitarist, is the most tireless and paradoxical explainer of the group in the film. He likes statements like: “For silence to be audible, a vehicle is needed. And that vehicle is music.”

At one point, Fripp describes his experience in the band from 1969 to 2016 as “miserable.” What changed in 2016? He put together a group of stellar musicians who did what he asked. The film presents his thoughts along with interviews with previous members who had strong differences with Fripp.

While the YouTube videos that Fripp and his wife, singer Toyah Willcox, began making during the pandemic reveal the guitarist as a mild-mannered, eccentric and luxuriant lunatic, he may seem like an intellectual martinet in the context of the band he has led. for half a century. But he’s as hard on himself as he is on anyone else, practicing guitar four to five hours a day and subjecting himself to other forms of discipline, like taking a cold shower in the morning: “Your body doesn’t want to go under a cold shower.” ”he says in the film. “So you’re telling your body, ‘Do what you’re told.’”

Bill Rieflin offers another perspective on the band, as a musician who decided to spend his final years of life touring with Crimson. He died of cancer in 2020. Their devotion makes Fripp’s adages about the sacred nature of music-making palpable.

In the Court of the Crimson King: King Crimson at 50 years old
Not qualified. Duration: 1 hour 26 minutes. On cinemas.

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