‘Becoming Led Zeppelin,’ first ever band-authorized documentary, premiering in September
Becoming Led Zeppelin, the first ever authorized documentary about the iconic '70s rock group, will make its debut at the 2021 Venice Film Festival in September. The film was made by Bernard MacMahon and features band members Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones, John Bonham and Robert Plant.
“Becoming Led Zeppelin is a film that no one thought could be made,” MacMahon said in a statement. “The band’s meteoric rise to stardom was swift and virtually undocumented. Through an intense search across the globe and years of restoration of the visual and audio archive found, this story is finally able to be told.”
MacMahon directed the 2017 docuseries American Epic, about American roots music in the 1920, of which the band are fans. "When I saw everything Bernard had done both visually and sonically on the remarkable achievement that is American Epic," Page said in the press release, "I knew he would be qualified to tell our story.” Plant said, "Seeing Will Shade, and so many other important early American musicians, brought to life on the big screen in American Epic inspired me to contribute to a very interesting and exciting story.”
The film features never-before-seen archival footage of Led Zeppelin, with state-of-the-art remastered sound, as well as footage of the music that inspired the band. “With Becoming Led Zeppelin my goal was to make a documentary that looks and feels like a musical," McMahon said. "I wanted to weave together the four diverse stories of the band members before and after they formed their group with large sections of their story advanced using only music and imagery and to contextualize the music with the locations where it was created and the world events that inspired it. I used only original prints and negatives, with over 70,000 frames of footage manually restored, and devised fantasia sequences, inspired by Singin’ In The Rain, layering unseen performance footage with montages of posters, tickets and travel to create a visual sense of the freneticism of their early career.”
The Venice Film Festival runs September 1-10 -- learn more here. No word on a wider release yet. Stay tuned.