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Watch the first trailer for long-awaited King Crimson documentary

Robert Fripp
(Image credit: Rob Verhorst/Redferns)

One of the most creative bands of all time, one of the most fractious, King Crimson has never been an easy gig, and judging by the first trailer from his documentary, In The Court Of The Crimson King, filmmaker Toby Amies looks to have captured that combustible esprit des corps in his much-anticipated documentary.

The film will make its world premiere on 14 March at SXSW, in Austin, with the trailer offering us the first look at the Amies’ work. It has been some time coming. Amies began work on the documentary in 2019, when King Crimson’s debut album of the same name was celebrating its 50th anniversary.

The official synopsis describes In The Court Of The Crimson King as “a dark, comic film for anyone who wonders whether it is worth sacrificing everything for just a single moment of transcendence”, and there will be many a King Crimson alumnus who will have wondered that same thing. 

Even Robert Fripp, who has had his hand on the tiller since the beginning, might wonder that himself sometimes. But as a document of artistic freedom and the volatility that comes with it, In The Court Of The Crimson King promises to be essential viewing for prog fans, and a window into what it is like to play in a band whose existence is described by as “a rewarding and perilous space in which the extraordinary is possible, nothing is certain, and not everyone survives intact.”

In The Court Of The Crimson King will feature Mel Collins, Jakko Jakszyk, Tony Levin, Pat Mastelotto, Bill Bruford, Adrian Belew, Bill Rieflin, Jeremy Stacey and of course Robert Fripp. It is being distributed by DGM LIVE.

Jonathan Horsley has been writing about guitars and guitar culture since 2005, playing them since 1990, and regularly contributes to MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitar World. He uses Jazz III nylon picks, 10s during the week, 9s at the weekend, and shamefully still struggles with rhythm figure one of Van Halen’s Panama.