2016 was merciless when it came to the sheer amount of mourning that fans did for all of the cultural icons that passed away between January 1st and December 31st. David Bowie, Prince, Lemmy, Angus Scrimm, and many, many, MANY more left this world and our reality was poorer for it. One of the biggest heartbreaks of the year undoubtedly came when Carrie Fisher and her mother, Debbie Reynolds, both passed away in quick succession last week. While Star Wars fans still have her performance in Episode VIII to look forward to, Leia Organa won’t be the only version of Fisher showcased before our eyes this year. Enter Bright Lights: Starring Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds…
“In Memorium” is a somber start to what looks to be an otherwise heartwarming look at the lives of Fisher and Reynolds. Described as “an intimate portrait of Hollywood royalty”, this documentary was directed by Alexis Bloom & Fisher Stevens (yes, THAT Fisher Stevens). Bright Lights chronicles the lives of its subjects from the start of their earliest days together, all the way up through the 2015 Screen Actors Guild Awards, where Carrie presented her mother with a Lifetime Achievement Award.
That this documentary arrives at such a sorrowful time is a massive bummer, but I’m honestly glad that HBO isn’t waiting to air it. Such things are often postponed indefinitely in the wake of tragedy, so it is refreshing to see that tendency avoided here. The film premiered at Cannes last year and it will debut on HBO before our very eyes this weekend on Saturday, January 7th. Both women were titans of their professions in a large variety of ways and while we are sad they are gone, this examination of their lives…especially their interactions with one another…looks to be appointment television and a more than fitting memorial to them both.
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