Utopia and Showtime have acquired the North American rights to Pulse Films’ “Meet Me in the Bathroom,” a documentary about the explosion of rock ‘n’ roll that helped define the early 2000s in New York City and ushered in a new generation of musical talent. The film, which is directed by Will Lovelace and Dylan Southern, premiered at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival. Utopia will release “Meet Me in the Bathroom” in theaters later this year. The film will air on Showtime at the end of 2022.
Based on the hit 2017 oral history of the same name by Lizzy Goodman, “Meet Me in the Bathroom” says it “tells the story of the last great romantic age of rock,” one that looks at the impact that bands like The Strokes, LCD Soundsystem, Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Interpol had on revitalizing the cultural life of a reeling, post-9/11 city. To tell its story of this pivotal moment in music, the film combines archival footage, audio interviews, and photos and video. In a positive review, Variety‘s Andrew Barker praised the film as “a vivid time capsule of New York rock culture at the turn of the millennium” and, in a line guaranteed to make any Gen X-er feel ancient, added “as these bands all creep toward the middle-aged nostalgia circuit, it’s poignant to remember how brightly they burned back in the full flush of youth.”
“Lizzy’s book told the story of a time and a place that was incredibly resonant for us personally, so the prospect of adapting it for the screen was one that we jumped at,” said Lovelace and Southern. “Our hope was to make a film that acts as a time capsule. We weren’t looking to tell the complete history of each band, as the world has changed so much since the years covered by the documentary. We wanted to create a vivid distillation of a music scene, a time and a place, and in doing so explore something universal about youth and creativity.”
Recent Utopia titles include “Shiva Baby.” The indie studio’s upcoming releases this year include Cannes and NYFF selection “Vortex” by Gaspar Noé, Jane Schoenbrun’s “We’re All Going to the World’s Fair,” and Lena Dunham’s “Sharp Stick.”
Showtime’s documentary lineup has included “We Need to Talk About Cosby,” a multi-part look at Bill Cosby’s complicated legacy, and “Sheryl,” an intimate portrait of rock star Sheryl Crow.
“The bands in ‘Meet Me in the Bathroom’ brought back an edge and personality to alt rock music and crossed into the global mainstream in the early 2000s, when everything in music seemed repetitive and fabricated,” said Utopia co-founder Robert Schwartzman. “Utopia’s team has a personal and emotional connection to this era of New York culture and the many artists who helped shape this time and place. We are so truly honored to be a part of this film’s journey and cannot wait to celebrate the filmmakers long-awaited documentary after its well-received Sundance debut.”
“We are thrilled to be partnering with Utopia on ‘Meet Me in the Bathroom,’ a rousing look at a seminal moment in both the history of rock music and the city of New York,” said Kent Sevener, exec VP of content acquisition at Showtime Networks. “With its dynamic archival footage and electrifying soundtrack, ‘Meet Me in the Bathroom’ will be a unique addition to the Showtime documentary slate.”
“Meet Me in the Bathroom” is an XTR and Vice Studios presentation of a Pulse Films production. It was produced by Vivienne Perry, Pulse Films’ Sam Bridger, Marisa Clifford and Thomas Benski, Vice Studios’ Danny Gabai and Suroosh Alvi, Southern and Lovelace. Executive producers include Hayley Pappas, Matt Ippolito, Vice Studios’ Andrew Freston and Natalie Farrey, XTR’s Bryn Mooser, Pulse Films’ Tim O’Shea, Isabel Davis, Brian Levy, Jaime Neely and Lizzy Goodman.
This deal was negotiated by Danielle DiGiacomo, Utopia’s head of content, with UTA Independent Film Group representing the filmmakers. Goodman is represented by UTA and 3 Arts Management.