When Spike Lee was tapped to direct a film version of American Utopia (David Byrne’s hit Broadway musical) at the end of January, the expectations could not have been higher. Now, in this teaser trailer from HBO, we get just a taste of what the finished product will look like. It can be a challenge filming a staged musical, but as Spike Lee has proven before (with the terrific–if criminally underseen–Passing Strange) he has a great facility for capturing the energy of a performance in full flight. While there could be comparisons to Stop Making Sense (the great Byrne-led Talking Heads concert film directed by Jonathan Demme), American Utopia would appear to be an ecstatic confection in its own right.
American Utopia premieres on HBO and streaming on HBO MAX on October 17.