Paul Simon: In Restless Dreams

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Exclusive preview of the definitive musical biography of Paul Simon, one of the greatest songwriters in the history of rock ‘n’ roll, as he’s making his newest album

Alex Gibney
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“In Restless Dreams” is an exploration of a life of singular creativity that has lost none of its curiosity, ambition and mystery. As a closing event of our summer series of music documentaries, created in collaboration with Piece of Magic, De Balie brings you an exclusive chance to take a deep look into the miracle of Paul Simon’s songwriting, long before the film comes to regular distribution.

On January 15, 2019, Paul Simon had a dream in which a voice told him, “you’re working on a piece called ‘Seven Psalms.’” In the months that followed, lines and phrases would come to him at odd moments, sometimes even while he was asleep. He began to hear the melody that would stitch the bits and pieces together. As the verses took shape – like a series of photographs emerging from the chemical baths of a darkroom – Simon reached out to Alex Gibney to see if he would be interested in filming his process of taking the basic elements and turning them into the album that would become Seven Psalms.

Gibney traveled to Simon’s new studio in Wimberly, Texas, where Simon sketched out, on guitar and raw vocals, a series of songs that examined faith, death and the mystery of creation. “This whole piece is really an argument I’m having with myself about belief, or not,” says Simon in the film.

The film juxtaposes the process of making the new album against archival material tracing Simon’s career and creative journey, including revelatory, previously unseen footage from such historic moments as the recording of “Bridge Over Troubled Water” and “Graceland” and Simon & Garfunkel’s unforgettable reunion concert in Central Park.

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