What you may need to know:
1. Sigh. Bright Lights is a documentary set to premier on HBO in the States this Sunday (next Tuesday on Sky Atlantic], following the lives of inseparable mother-daughter duo Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds, both of whom died suddenly within days of each other last month.
2. No, this wasn’t hastily thrown together to capitalise on their deaths; Bright Lights has been doing the festival rounds since last summer, and was set to air later this year. Following the sad events, HBO announced its decision to move the screening forward to this weekend.
3. Bright Lights’ technique of filming the mother and daughter in their home environment doing everyday things is strongly reminiscent of the Maysles Brothers’ ground-breaking “direct cinema” documentary Grey Gardens (1975)
4. Carrie Fisher was already known for her anti-celebrity down-to-earth persona; this film looks like it will only expand on that and create a lasting legacy.
5. Sometimes, documentaries take on an extra level of meaning due to unexpected events during or after filming that – if you’ll excuse the morbidity – make them infinitely more effective than they already were.
6. Think One Million Dubliners’ devastating and masterful ending; Metallica’s unexpected freefall in the bizarre and tragically hilarious Some Kind of Monster and more. Bright Lights was already a love letter from daughter to mother and back again; now it’s an unexpected eulogy for two generations of Hollywood royalty.
Release date: Sky Atlantic at 9pm on January 10