INXS’s Live Baby Live movie to debut on 1,000 screens worldwide [exclusive]
INXS’s remastered Live Baby Live movie – based on their iconic appearance at London’s Wembley Stadium before 73,791 fans on July 13, 1991 – will have a worldwide launch on 1,000 screens.
Its UK-based distributor CinEvents has locked in the UK, Ireland and Europe on November 27, with North, Central and South America from December 9.
Next year should see screenings in Asia and the Middle East where INXS has found a young new audience through streaming services.
Released in cinematic 16:9 widescreen, CinEvents’ London-based managing director Joseph Evea already had high expectations for the film’s box office appeal.
But attending its world premiere at the Byron Bay International Film Festival in late October amped his prospects greatly.
“I expected that a few people would get up and dance in the aisles. But literally from the second song, they were all up on their feet, and gave it a standing ovation.
“It was brilliant and something, as a distributor, so wonderful to see. It was nothing I’ve seen in a cinema. It was so well received.”
The response at the world premiere was exactly what CinEvents is trying to create with its music screenings.
“Normally going to the movies is a passive experience. But we want people to treat it as an active one, and in which they have a communal experience.”
Eva explains that the advent of streaming forces cinemas to approach releases differently.
“We are becoming more of an ‘experience’ culture. It’s about people coming together over something they’re passionate about., enjoy it together and forget where they are.
“You have to start thinking differently about cinema, no just the place where you go and see the new Marvel movie.”
Unlike festivals, where fans have to travel hundreds of miles, cinemas are always local.
CinEvents screens opera, ballet and theatre performances, while its most recent rock project was Lionel Richie headlining the Legends stage at the Glastonbury festival in the UK.
It two biggest successes have been about David Bowie’s creation of Ziggy Stardust and Elvis Presley’s triumphant return to the stage in 1968.
Both were available on DVD, but the fact that they grossed seven-figure turnovers showed the appeal of absorbing them in big screens and stunning sound.
Evea is working towards the day when a major spectacle, like, for instance, Radiohead at the Pyramids, can be screened via cinema globally.
Searching For Ten Years
Live Baby Live was first released on DVD in 35mm negative
When the band’s global creative officer Chris Murphy returned to take over INXS’s business reins, his focus was on re-establishing their brand with reissues and new projects featuring their songs.
The Wembley show was regarded as a pinnacle of their live show, the band firing on all eight cylinders after ten years on the road.
The band’s Garry Gary Beers remembers “The whole band was on fire that night but especially at our ‘pointy end’ – Michael was so good as he sang his heart out and gave every person in the crowd a night to remember for all time.
“He truly had that amazing ability to make the biggest shows as intimate as the pubs we grew up in musically.”
However, the canisters’ with the film were missing in action.
For ten years Murphy looked for them in the UK and US – and finally found them in Australia.
The film was painstakingly restored shot-by-shot over a twelve-month period to Ultra HD 4K.
The eye-raising visual upgrade put the audience members right next to the band on stage, capturing the members’ facial expressions.
Hutchence, in particular, comes alive; a masterclass on how he built up the show throughout a hits-set leaping in atmosphere from strutting exhilaration to darkness.
While Richard Lowenstein’s elegantly-made Mystify (out on ABC-TV, DVD and Blu-Ray this month) was a postcard about the sadness and decline in Hutchence’s life, Live Baby Live captured him at his most triumphant.
According to Murphy: “When you’re working on a project for so long, there’s the fear ‘What’s everyone going to think?’
“That turns into astonishment. Watching it back, Michael is better than even I thought he was – how he managed the stage.
“His voice became more powerful as the gig went along. It was extraordinary to watch – the crowd and band were as one”.
The audio is presented in full Dolby Atmos, created by Giles Martin, the band’s executive music director, and Sam Okell at Abbey Road Studios.
It was released this month through Petrol/Universal as a three-album vinyl deluxe, 2CD and all digital formats.