The film played Tribeca as a work-in-progress earlier this year, and will hit HBO right around the time Tate Taylor’s Brown biopic “Get On Up,” and star Chadwick Boswick, will begin lobbying for awards. Gibney also wrapped another music doc this year, “Finding Fela,” centered on Nigerian Afrobeat pioneer Fela Kuti, which premiered at Sundance in January and played this summer from Kino Lorber. (Our interview here, Indiewire feature here.)
More on “Mr. Dynamite”: James Brown changed the face of American music. Soul Brother Number One, as he was known, pioneered the journey from rhythm and blues to funk. More than that, this American legend—who willed himself to life after he was stillborn—was a classic embodiment of the American dream. The son of a “turpentine man” from rural South Carolina, Brown became one the greatest live performers ever known, the “hardest working man in show business,” and a self-made millionaire. As he often said, it was “show AND business.” Once successful, one of his first orders of business was to launch the soundtrack for a new civil rights movement: “Say It Loud: I’m Black and I’m Proud.” With unique cooperation of the Brown estate, this is a definitive documentary biography of the James Brown story and legend, 1933–1974.