Friday, 14 December 2018

Portrait of the artist as a young woman

THE troubled life of gifted singer-songwriter Amy Winehouse is given the cinematic treatment in the latest

THE troubled life of gifted singer-songwriter Amy Winehouse is given the cinematic treatment in the latest in a line of documentaries focusing on musicians who died too young.

Such was her extraordinary talent, and the tragedy of her death at the age of just 27 in July 2011, that it seemed only a matter of time before her ups and downs made it onto the big screen.

Her drug abuse and drinking have been well-documented in the media, but in Amy the film is narrated by the star herself in the form of her lyrics which appear on the screen.

This gives the impression that the audience is not just simply there to enjoy her music and her obvious talent for writing, as the film functions almost as a diary of the Rehab singer’s journey from childhood to superstardom.

It opens with footage of a young Amy and ends in her death â?? this is not just a tale of booze, drugs and demons, here we get the whole picture.



Featuring extensive unseen archive footage and previously unheard tracks, the film is strikingly modern and moving.

Amy is directed by Asif Kapadia, who took the helm of Senna, a documentary looking at the life and death of the triple Formula One world champion.

As in that film, Amy is an unsensational look at the person behind the talent â?? a glimpse of the private individual that the newspapers and TV shows rarely get to see. According to the filmmakers, the worst thing that audiences could say is that they had seen this story before in the media.

They’re confident, however, that this will not be case.

Kapadia will no doubt hope his film will be seen as a poignant tribute to the star. Some hardcore fans will always feel that Amy is somehow cashing in on her untimely death â?? but many will leave the cinema feeling they have a far better insight into her short life.

Amy is showing at Henley’s Regal Picturehouse from today (Friday).

Review: David White



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