Documenting Gorillaz

Directed by Denholm Hewlett (son of Gorillaz’s Jamie Hewlett), a new documentary about the world’s most famous ‘virtual band’ is a brilliant mishmash of the real and the imagined. We speak to him about bringing the film to life

While there are countless documentaries that delve into the public and private lives of our favourite musicians, the secret to a really good music doc is typically when it sheds new light on its subject. Asif Kapadia’s Oscar-winning feature on the late Amy Winehouse, for instance, offered a snapshot into the life of a hugely talented but troubled young woman which went beyond the simplistic tabloid headlines that swirled around her. Meanwhile, in 20 Feet From Stardom, Morgan Neville’s tribute to the art of backing singers, we finally got to put names to the all-important voices behind everyone from The Rolling Stones to David Bowie.

Formed in 1998 by former Blur frontman Damon Albarn and artist Jamie Hewlett, Gorillaz’s story has been well documented over the past two decades. The ‘virtual band’ has remained an enduring source of fascination to its multi-generational army of fans and the music industry itself, its unusual format allowing the duo to push boundaries both musically and visually.