Funnyman and esteemed producer Judd Apatow, along with co-director Michael Bonfiglio, shares the intimate, heart-warming account of the folk band The Avett Brothers in May It Last: A Portrait of the Avett Brothers, which debuts on HBO this Monday, Jan. 29th at 8 pm.The documentary recalls Seth and Scott Avett all the way from their days as punk-metal rockers in their band, Nemo, attempting to distance themselves from their North Carolinian roots to the detailed creative development of their latest album True Sadness and their journey that accompanied the development of the album.
The heart-melting bond between the brothers radiates throughout the entire film. According to director-producer Judd Apatow, the documentary will hopefully make people fall in love with the Avett Brothers if they haven’t done so already.
“It’s a very positive movie at a time when we’re all freaked out because the world feels very troubling,” said Apatow. “It’s nice to meet very kind, creative people who are good to each other. It really feels like an antidote to this moment.”
The band first came to Apatow’s attention in 2012, when he included song “Live and Die” in his “coming-of-middle-age” comedy, This Is 40. As the band began working on a new album, the band’s record producer and Grammy award-winning legend Rick Rubin reached out to Apatow with an idea to document the band’s creative process.
Little did both Rubin and Apatow know that so much more would sprout out of following the lives of all the band members for those two years.
“The movie chronicles an intense chapter, more intense than we realized and so from having children to members getting married and divorces and illnesses. It encompasses as lot,” said band member Seth Avett.
Avett added that he hopes people walk away from the documentary with a strengthened familial outlook. “If someone’s in a place where they feel like maybe being around a family member is not a great thing and they want to change it,” said Avett. “Maybe the film might make them feel like a little bit of hope for that.”
Even though the film follows the relationship of Seth and Scott most closely, the documentary highlights the significance of their relationships and care for the other band members as well.
Apatow describes it as a group of individuals that just genuinely have a very healthy relationship with one another. He explained how often times bands have tempestuous relationships and break apart over time, but The Avett Brothers are an absolute exception.
“You don’t understand how people get along so well and treat each other so well. It reminds you how you’re supposed to behave,” said Apatow.
The Avett Brothers recently previewed a screening of May It Last in New York City in order to benefit the St. Jude’s Research Hospital. The band performed after the screening, where Apatow joked about “going through a minor depression” now that the filming process is over. He concluded the evening by saying, “thinking about the Avett Brothers just all the time… It was a nice thing to have in your head, you know, all day long thinking about the Avett Brothers; it really made us happy.”