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King Crimson

In the Court of the Crimson King: King Crimson at 50 Blu-Ray/DVD Edition

Review by Gary Hill

King Crimson is an unusual beast as a musical entity. I've been fascinated by the band about as long as I've known about them. They appeal to me on many levels, but I wouldn't consider them to be one of my favorites, and I'm really not sure why not. They certainly encompass so many things, hitting on intellectual, artistic and emotional levels. The same things that can be said about King Crimson certainly apply to this documentary, although, I'd say that this is one of the most interesting documentaries I've ever seen.

It has the usual interviews you'd expect. It has the kind of behind the scenes footage and live shots that normally appears in this kind of musical documentary. Yet, this is in so many ways like no other musical documentary. Then again, King Crimson is no like no other musical act.

You can't talk about King Crimson without talking about Robert Fripp, and in so many ways both the musical creation known as King Crimson and Fripp are enigmas. Perhaps that's part of the charm of both. I'm not even sure people who have been part of the band for years really understand it completely. Remarkably, as much as this film gives us a peak behind the curtain and inside the machinery that is King Crimson, it also left me with as many mysteries as it answered. I think that's a charm of the film because it's befitting.

King Crimson is something that can't be nailed down, quantified or boxed in. I think the fact that this video doesn't really manage to do that, while also giving a more in-depth access is precisely what this act deserves. If anything, this has intensified my feelings for the band. I may not understand it any better than I did before, but I can appreciate it all on some new levels.

This release comes with both a Blu-Ray and DVD of the film. There are a few bonuses here, but they weren't all that compelling to me. The actual video, though, is absolutely fascinating and captivating.

This review is available in book (paperback and hardcover) form in Music Street Journal: 2023  Volume 3 More information and purchase links can be found at:
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