Entertainment

Val Kilmer documentary promises a look at four decades of the enigmatic actor’s life


A new trailer for “Val,” an upcoming documentary about the life of Val Kilmer, promises a unique look at his life, chronicled by the actor himself.

“I’ve lived a magical life, and I’ve captured quite a bit of it,” the “Top Gun” and “The Doors” star explains in the first trailer released Tuesday. “I was the first guy I knew to own a video camera.”

It turns out that Kilmer’s camera has been rolling for most of the past 40 years, and that’s what has gone into this documentary, coming soon from Amazon Prime Video.

“This raw, wildly original and unflinching documentary reveals a life lived to extremes and a heart-filled, sometimes hilarious look at what it means to be an artist and a complex man,” Amazon said in a release Tuesday.

“That’s real cool, Val,” a very young Kevin Bacon says in a clip from back in the day, as Kilmer tapes him, Sean Penn and others just hanging out.

A gentle voice-over stands in for the 61-year-old’s own voice, which was effectively destroyed several years ago by treatments for throat cancer, which he initially denied having.

“They said I was denying that I had cancer, and when they asked me, I didn’t have cancer. It was a bit like do you have a broken bone? And if you broke it in high school, you would say no,” Kilmer told the New York Times last year.

The lifelong Christian Scientist said he’s now suffering from the medical response to his cancer — the tracheostomies, chemo and radiation — while the condition itself was healed through prayer.

“I’ve tried to see the world as one piece of life,” Kilmer says at one point in the trailer, briefly revealing his current sound. His voice-over then explains that it’s a story about his life, but it isn’t his life.

In a May press release, the “Batman Forever” actor said, “At least once a day for years I looked around and got this bittersweet feeling that there are a thousand reasons that this project could’ve been shipwrecked. I mean, what could a film look like of a man filming himself, sometimes daily, years at a time?”

The answer to that question is the documentary, directed by Leo Scott and Ting Poo. “Val” hits theaters July 23, then starts streaming Aug. 6 on Amazon Prime Video.




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