A Heart-Braking Journey – The Life of Amy Winehouse

Amy_Movie_Poster

日本語

Документальный фильм о Эми Уайнхаус

“Amy” a British documentary film that depicts the life and death of singer-songwriter Amy Winehouse, directed by renowned filmmaker Asif Kapadia released on July 3rd in the United Kingdom and in the United States.

Amy_WinehouseWhen singer Amy Winehouse died in 2011 of alcohol poisoning at age 27, most people knew her as an inglorious train wreck, having witnessed her steady descent into self-destruction as if in real time. But Kapadia didn’t want it sound too karmic or Romantic, just tell the proper story of Amy.

amy-winehouse-fight-lgKapadia conducted more than 100 interviews with Winehouse’s friends and family including Amy’s ex-husband, Blake Fielder-Civil that combine to provide a narrative around the star’s life and is billed as “the singer in her own words”. The film shows extensive unseen footage and unheard tracks Winehouse had recorded in the years before she died.

Ronnie_SpectorIt’s also an eye-opening revelation of Winehouse as not just a teetering torch singer defined by her Ronnie Spector beehive and Cleopatra makeup, but as a once-in-a-generation talent — Billie Holiday with a poet’s facility for wordplay and a Brill Building sense of structure. As “Amy” amply illustrates, Winehouse wrote and composed her own songs, with assistance from key collaborators like Salaam Remi and Mark Ronson. Like all great lyricists, she used personal struggle for artistic gain.

Amy-amy-winehouse-27051243-500-690Maybe Winehouse wasn’t really ready for the stardom. “I don’t think I’m gonna be at all famous. I don’t think I could handle. I would probably go mad, you know what I mean? I would go mad,” she said in an interview.

One thing for sure is that she had her own style. “I don’t like to wear anything that anyone else is wearing because it’s very important for me to make a statement. I just like to mix it up and wear all different stuff together,” the singer once commented.

I was privileged to interview Amy Winehouse during her US tour in 2007 after a big success of “Back To Black” album. Winehouse was obviously nervous, exhibiting the slightly insecure demeanor but when she spotted a bartender of the hotel bar where this interview was conducted, she smiled at him yelling “hey baby, what’s up!”

That was around the time “Rehab” was hitting so hard in the U.S. , I asked why she became addicted to alcohol. “Well, everybody was drinking in London. All the girls drink at the party, you know nothing special……,” was her answer.

Amy's family albumThe film “Amy” was compiled with home movies and footage on the road taken by friends early in the film of Winehouse from her mid-teens to early 20s, clear-eyed and witty, innocently seductive in her charms, and possessed of a God-given talent (getting her first manager, Nick Shymansky, to cooperate was a breakthrough for the filmmaker). A rehearsal in the office of an Island Records executive when she was 18 — just Winehouse accompanying herself on acoustic guitar — suggests an artistry fully formed out of the gate. depicts Mitch Winehouse, Amy’s father, as putting her career before her health, and glomming onto her fame for personal gain. (He has denounced the film, alleging that it misrepresents his role in her career.)

“Amy” – now playing

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