Title – Amy (2015)
Director – Asif Kapadia (Senna)
Cast – Amy Winehouse, Blake Fielder-Civil, Mark Ronson, Tony Bennett, Yasiin Bey
Plot – An intimate documentary that assembles a collection of archival footage to look at the often tragic life and times of Jazz singer Amy Winehouse.
“Singing has always been important to me”
Review by Eddie on 2/11/2015
Often hard to watch and hard to take, the difficulty in watching Asif Kapadia’s intimate and thorough documentary Amy doesn’t stem from it being a terrible film but a haunting one, in its examination and insight into the rise and subsequent demise of famed jazz singer Amy Winehouse.
Much like 2015’s other homemade movie led and almost fly on the wall look at Kurt Cobain, Montage of Heck, Amy is about as close as any of us will ever get to understanding her way of life and what led her on her musical journey that in turn led to her self-destructive ways.
As he did with the fantastic Ayrton Senna documentary from 2010 simply titled Senna, Kapadia shuns the usual talking heads and re-enactment way of more by the book documentaries and instead has a plethora of home video footage, concert footage and phone recordings of Amy Winehouse’s life that tell the story without need for any expert opinions to be added or self-congratulatory players in her life to take up too much screen time in proceedings.
There’s nothing else quite like the intimacy found in home video recordings and Amy draws the audience into the downward spiral of life choices that Winehouse made and Kapadia does a fine job of never pointing the finger but allowing the facts to speak for themselves.
You’ll no doubt as a viewer of proceedings be able to quickly establish and pinpoint moments and players in Winehouse’s life that helped led to her sad end and it’s shocking, hard to fathom just what some people encouraged her to do or what those people that fed off her success and cared little for her well-being were happy to see have happen.
It’s unfortunate that we will never get to see just what Amy Winehouse could’ve become had her life outside of music taken more positive turns and while you don’t have to personally love her music much like I personally don’t, there’s no doubt she had “something” special and there’s little questioning that Amy is one of the year’s most well put together documentaries and a fascinating look at one of the modern eras highest selling recording artists.
4 Terry Richardson photo shoots out of 5