The turbulent history of King Crimson is the subject of a new documentary, In the Court of the Crimson King. Set to premiere at the 2022 SXSW Film Festival in March, the first trailer for the project is available now.

Directed by Toby Aimes, a filmmaker whose work is as eccentric as King Crimson itself, the trailer pulls no punches. Guitarist Robert Fripp—the longest-tenured member of the progressive rock band—opens the trailer saying “This is the first King Crimson where there’s not at least one member in the band that actively resents my presence, which is astonishing.” While Fripp does have something of a twisted sense of humor, see his unsettlingly erotic Sunday Lunch cover videos with his wife Toyah Wilcox for evidence, this statement is no joke.

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The brief clip hosts snippets with former King Crimson members including guitarist Adrian Belew, saxophonist Mel Collins, and more who all verify Fripp’s version of events.

“When I came back from making some of that music, my hair had fallen out,” Belew recalls.

Fripp himself toes the line, closing the trailer saying “I can’t be the only sane man in this asylum.”

An official description of the film reads,

What began as a traditional documentary about the legendary band King Crimson as it turned 50, mutated into an exploration of time, death, family, and the transcendent power of music to change lives; but with jokes.

In the Court of the Crimson King is a dark, comic film for anyone who wonders whether it is worth sacrificing everything for just a single moment of transcendence. It explores the unique creative environment of King Crimson, one in which freedom and responsibility conspire to place extraordinary demands on the band’s members – only alleviated by the applause of an audience whose adoration threatens to make their lives even harder. It’s a rewarding and perilous space in which the extraordinary is possible, nothing is certain, and not everyone survives intact.

Watch the trailer for the new documentary In the Court of the Crimson King. Click here for more information on the SXSW screening.

In the Court of the Crimson King (Trailer)