Amy (2015)
July 19, 2015 9:45 AM - Subscribe

A documentary on the late singer-songwriter Amy Winehouse.

Directed by Asif Kapadia, it's the story of Amy Winehouse in her own words, featuring unseen archival footage and unheard tracks.
posted by bluefly (3 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Before I saw this film, I only knew Amy Winehouse from her music, which I loved. I didn't follow her in the press very much. This documentary made me so sad, as there were lots of things about her life that I didn't know. But I was very glad for all the clips from her performances (especially the early ones) that they showed. I liked how the interviews were all done in the background as we watched the footage. It was interesting how much of her life her friends had filmed. I can't believe all that happened in the space of 10 years, and that it's only been 4 years since she passed away.

Her family has distanced itself from the film, but everyone else involved seems to say that it's a pretty fair depiction. I'm curious, for MeFites that were bigger fans of Amy than me (really anyone who wasn't under a rock like I was in the 2000s), what you thought of the movie.
posted by bluefly at 9:54 AM on July 19, 2015

I second pretty much everything you said. Really liked how the filmmakers only used the audio from the interviews. I think maybe she was also a bit more in the UK press and not as much the US? Not sure. My 2000s rock cast a darker shadow than yours, maybe.

I also really liked how they put text on screen for the lyrics during most (all?) of the times there is footage of Amy performing. I wasn't even all that familiar with her music, but man some of her lyrics were great and when lined up with what was happening in her personal life are really heavy.

Some musicians have responded about how this movie shows pretty well that society was not, and probably still isn't, set up to handle a super-popular female singer. That this was a woman who just wanted to sing and that wasn't enough for us and we failed as a society failed. There's a stretch in this doc from when a lot of jokes were thrown at Amy's appearance which back that up completely.
posted by dogwalker at 6:01 PM on July 19, 2015 [1 favorite]

While I thought the footage they had was remarkable, I just couldn't take it. The shaky handheld phone footage on the big screen made me more motion sick than BLAIR WITCH did.

It struck me as being everything I already knew edited together in a lovely way. The "Dad, it's Tony Bennett!" moment really got me hard for some reason emotionally.

The lack of a conclusion except a bit of dad blaming struck me as being a missed opportunity -- what could have been a statement about fame in general, about addiction, about offering help rather than fame, etc. ended up leaving me with a slight "Well, that's one more person exploiting Amy for a touch of fame" feeling that I couldn't shake.

It's weird to make a film about how her cries for help became her prison for our amusement that does the same thing.

Executionwise, I thought it was a bit rough, cheap and sloppy around the edges -- the typography was terrible for the onscreen lyrics. But perhaps since I saw an early screening, it was cleaned up for wide release.
posted by Gucky at 6:15 PM on August 23, 2015

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