My name is Susan and I love music documentaries. Surprisingly, though, I’m not a music buff. I don’t subscribe to Rolling Stone or have an eclectic collection of vinyl. I don’t even subscribe to a music streaming service. (Gasp!) I may seem like an unlikely fan of this genre, but what I desperately love about music docs is that we, the audience, become privy to the conception of art. We see the passion, the hard work, and the process, which to me, is often more interesting than the final product. From 20 Feet From Stardom to The Wrecking Crew to The Winding Stream, we are introduced to the backstory of history-making music. We see the raw talent stripped of pretention and production. Take Me To The River, continues this tradition with a heartwarming and heartbreaking celebration of some of Memphis’ musical greats.
As a music fan in today’s world, where even the most minute detail of a celebrity’s life is drawn out for the world to see, it’s easy to forget that there was a time when it wasn’t like that. Sure, you’d probably hear something on the radio if someone was arrested or something, but nothing near what it is now (we get it, Lindsay Lohan is making poor life choices). With that said, I went into Janis: Little Girl Blue as a fan of her music, but realizing that I didn’t know all that much about her beyond the primary – Texas girl lands in San Francisco, makes some kickass music, then sadly joined the 27 Club. Fortunately, director Amy Berg (West of Memphis, Deliver Us from Evil) did a magnificent job of elaborating on the story of Janis’ life, and connecting the dots for those of us who didn’t know the full story.
LABYRINTH is … it’s… how do you describe a movie that includes elements of the traditional coming-of-age genre, Monty Python-inspired medieval images, and the combined zaniness and creativity of both David Bowie and the mob of different sized Muppets? Unlike some of the previous movies I’ve gotten to review so far, this movie I had seen before. Multiple times. Like all good stories, and films, I see something different each time.