The band’s 50 years seen through the very present perspective of director Toby Amies who doesn’t just focus on Robert Fripp, the controlling (and controlled) and genius leader of the band who demands the same degree of dedication of the other members that he imposes on himself. The documentary revolves around issues such as time, death and the power of music and virtuosity, as well as fan dedication, without ever losing a sense of humour.
Who is, all things considered, Robert Fripp, and what is, in fact, his band, King Crimson? A pivotal progressive rock band, home to countless musicians, many of them both enriched and terrified by the experience, the authors of “In the Court of the Crimson King” are a fascinating enigma. At the center of it all we find guitarist Robert Fripp, cruel perfectionist, eccentric genius, total musician. “In the Court of the Crimson King” traces the band’s biography, but that’s not exactly what the movie’s about. It goes back in time, through memories enlivened by archival footage, and points the camera at Fripp, searching for answers that don’t always show up, or that appear disguised as new enigmas. We hear the band’s musicians from yesterday and today, we hear the fans who can’t conceive anything less than devotion. We listen and we see in search for an answer. What are King Crimson, after all? Finding an answer is not essential. The intriguing haze of mystery suits Robert Fripp well. (Mário Lopes)