Thursday, February 11, 2016

Amy and Nina

My two favorite jazz singers of all time, Amy Winehouse and Nina Simone, just so happened to be in two of my favorite documentaries of this year (which just so happened to be nominated for Oscars). What a mouth-full.

These two films tell two tragic tales. Neither of these lives were easy. Both films take on a similar aesthetic in the singers tell their own stories through found footage, audio and photographs. However, What Happened, Miss Simone? takes on an even larger task of telling the history of the civil rights movement through her lived experiences. Amy remains self indulgent through a riveting tale, but one without huge depth.

Of course, the music really tells the stories of these women's lives. The lyrics are carefully embedded into the story, often with no introduction. However, I was surprised Feeling Good, one of her most noteworthy songs, was not featured in Nina's story. Instead, the film introduced hidden gems in her line of work. Either way, I highly recommend both films.

1 comment:

arturo said...

Both great character studies that use the power of the film language to translate their emotions in ours.