Jump to content
Slate Blackcurrant Watermelon Strawberry Orange Banana Apple Emerald Chocolate Marble
Slate Blackcurrant Watermelon Strawberry Orange Banana Apple Emerald Chocolate Marble
Sign in to follow this  
Trey

Janis Joplin-Little Girl Blue new Documentary Film

Recommended Posts

There's a new documentary film on Janis and I thought this would been a great place to post any reviews if anyone has it. It hasn't come to my hometown yet and I will have to wait for the dvd. There's lots of rare footage never seen before including her singing and playing Bobby McGee and cooking in her house. It will be great to get a glimpse of her behind the scenes so to speak. It's a positive thing as it will introduce her to a new generation hopefully and keep her legacy alive. What are the impressions of it? She was such a ground-breaking and influential  singer/performer and we certainly wouldn't  have Robert without her. He said he was greatly influenced by her, saw her perform and that he loved her staccato phrasing of "baby baby!" Here's the trailer. What does everyone think of Janis?

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

^Thanks for posting, Trey! I missed this when it was shown at TIFF this year, so I'm very much looking forward to it. To your points, you can to this day see some Janis influence on Robert, but I do think we'd still see him as he was and is influenced by so many musical artists and singers, so it's just that he'd perhaps be slightly different. All of us, after all, are altered after encountering the utterly raw, incomparably genuine and soulful Janis.

There was to have been a movie made about her reportedly starring Jennifer Lawrence but I haven't followed up about what's happening with it. Part of me hopes it doesn't get made; nobody, nobody can touch JJ, and I don't mean that in a sacred distance way, just that these sorts of movies end up being more like an imitation sort of like when a comedian does an impression, just movie length. They get the mannerisms, etc, well enough, but not truly the essence of a person.

Some creative ways to get around that are having an ensemble cast portray a role, such as when several actors did Heath Ledger's part in The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus which was a superb film. At TIFF a few years ago, I saw one of the best portrayals of a musician by an actor cllective, each of whom was Bob Dylan in different stages of his life in I'm Not There. Cate Blanchett brought me to tears. You could hear the gasps in the audience during her performance. It's one of the top special movie moments in my life. But I'm getting sidetracked with memories. The point is that there are examples of good portrayals, but they are far and few in between all the shouldn't-have-been-dones.

Janis had such a sweet quirky vulnerable spirit spilling out through such an emotional range in her voice that no choice or order of words could ever capture all she expressed in a single phrasing. You hear it and beyond any power of self-control, you're undone. I've been watching her Work Me Lord Stockholm '69 performance over and over and it slays and swells my heart every. single. time.

This doc is being released here in Toronto on Nov. 27. Can't wait!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Patrycja you have great insights! I didn't hear about Jennifer Lawrence actually. Over the years there have been so many actresses linked to the role- Pink, Renee Zellweger and others I can't remember. Amy Adams confirmed this year that she is to play Janis Joplin but there is a lawsuit now so it's on hold at the moment. Again no one can play Janis and I agree with the potential for bad imitation. If they are going to do a bio then it's best as you say to get different people to portray her at different stages of her life. That would be creative and much more believable and interesting. They should definately have Mary Bridget Davies involved in that for the performance scenes. She plays Janis in the stage play "One night with Janis" and she has been praised as the best "Janis" imitator yet and was nominated for a Tony for it. Her and Katrina Chester are the best I've seen but again nobody can even come close! I haven't seen the play though as live nowhere near where it's on. I haven't seen the Heath Ledger film or Bob Dylan one and look forward to checking them out to see how that worked. Cate Blanchett is one of the greatest  actresses. Janis could tell you the whole world in one note as she said. Work me lord Stockholm is one of my favourites and isn't shown  as much the famous Woodstock one. No other singer has moved me so much.

The pre screening talks have had phenomenal guests such as Dick Cavett and Amy Berg found her ex-boyfriend David Niehaus and he apparently spoke at the New York screening a couple of days ago. There's articles about it and he told some great stories about how she told off the Hells angels for wrecking her house and got them to do household chores and buy groceries haha. Only Janis! She was such a contradiction. She could be so strong but so vulnerable. What a fascinating and complex person. They found a letter from him the morning after she died in which he asked her to come meet up with him again and get back tgether and Amy said if she had known the letter was there she may not have shot up drugs and died. That was tragic! 

 

Edited by Trey

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You're welcome, Trey, and I hope you enjoy the movies, although I should say that the Imaginarium on e in particular is not the linear realism kind of film. I loved it, but can see why not everyone would find it accessible. Thank you for your insights and the interview above. I watched it yesterday and really enjoyed it. It's such a pleasure to hear a conversation at length and in depth as opposed to just brief cuts of a talk that have to fit within a short time slot you more often get on news or entertainment channels. This is more like what Charlie Rose does (except he interrupts A LOT). I like the tone of both their voices, too, which stand out because usually you hear dramatic music in the backgrounds of heavily edited interviews. 

I loved hearing details about the challenges of getting all the info needed for the doc, the challenges of putting it together, and how Amy grew throughout her time making it (eight years!). The part you mentioned about the letter is heartbreaking. Such a talent, such a light, dimmed by the devil that is heroin. If you think about all the people we've lost who thought they could use it just one more time after getting clean, we are so lucky that Jimmy still with us. Nobody saw it coming with her, after all, because she got clean. But as you mention, she was a complex mix of contradictory impulses and seemed like a sensitive soul who sometimes had a hard time balancing them.

I love history, but here's something off putting, especially in this day and age of over-sharing, and cameras everywhere and evil selfies, about people feeling they need to or have a right to know every detail about someone famous. Do we really need a grainy photo of what jam they select in the grocery store or book they choose in the bookstore? Look I get it, and am sometimes guilty of it, but it's also mitigated to the extent that I'm aware of it. With current musicians or actors I love, for instance, I'd rather get impressions of them from their work or maybe interviews. The point being that while I love Janis's music and know peripheral parts about her life, many more personal details are new, like the part about the letter. There was some info about her in a Jungian book by Clarissa Pinkola Estes which got into more the reasons behind some of excesses, not the least of which was the rigid conformity of Port Arthur of the 1950s. It's a bit petty, but there's something satisfying about Port Arthur being a barely existent dust town today after all the cruelty she endured.

There doesn't seem to be TIFF presser for this doc, but I'd like to add a link to the film's website http://www.janismovie.com/ and there's also this recent Rolling Stone write up about it http://www.rollingstone.com/movies/news/janis-little-girl-blue-inside-the-new-joplin-doc-20151117

Amy Berg deserves praise for her choice to focus so much on Janis's life rather than her passing which has gotten a disproportionate amount of attention for the various reasons she mentions in the video interview. Really looking forward to seeing this documentary.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great points :) Yeh Amy said she fell in love with Janis making this doc! Do you know where you get that Jungian book by Clarrisa Nikola?sounds fascinating.

There's been lots of pre-screening talks before the documentary premieres but there seems to be no audience recordings which is unusual in this day and age ! and can't find it on youtube except for about 2 very short instagram clips like . Such a bummer coz over the course of them she had Janis's sister, Dick Cavett, Janis's boyfriend, D.A Pennebaker (interview is scripted online so at least got to read what he said! ) http://www.eyeforfilm.co.uk/feature/2015-11-04-amy-berg-in-conversation-with-da-pennebaker-about-janis-little-girl-blue-feature-story-by-anne-katrin-titze

If you come across any let me know yhanks! there are 2 separate links below

 https://instagram.com/p/-DopWNndt9/https://instagram.com/p/-IpcLMzXIA/

 

Edited by Trey

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Three nights of post-screening Q & As, starting tonight...

Join us this weekend at Arclight Hollywood for three Q&As for "Janis: Little Girl Blue" following the 7:30 PM screenings. Learn more: http://ow.ly/VlRpp
12/3: Director Amy Berg
12/4: Amy Berg and KCRW's Gary Calamar
12/5: Amy Berg, Ellen Page & Juliet Lewis

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I haven't seen this doc yet, but how are Ellen Page and Juliet Lewis involved? Why would they be interviewed with Amy Berg - unless it's for different projects? It's unclear...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's a brief audio interview with Amy Berg on NPR Music recently:

A Picture Of Janis Joplin, In Shades Of 'Blue'

Thanks very much for posting this great interview. Can't wait to see the film also. So much rare footage it's great this stuff is finally coming out. Also check out this great clip of talk show host Dick Cavett telling brilliant stories of his time hanging out with Janis going to dinner and the movies. He's here talking at a recent pre-screening Q&A with director Amy Berg.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I read in one of the movie reviews Juliette Lewis is in the movie talking about how Janis influenced her music. Ellen Page I presume is a fan but I agree I don't think she is good enough to be involved in a Q&A. They could have got more of Janis's friends there to tell personal stories-there are lots that appear in the movie.

Here's a brief audio interview with Amy Berg on NPR Music recently:

A Picture Of Janis Joplin, In Shades Of 'Blue'

Thanks very much for posting this great interview. Can't wait to see the film also. So much rare footage it's great this stuff is finally coming out. Also check out this great clip of talk show host Dick Cavett telling brilliant stories of his time hanging out with Janis going to dinner and the movies. He's here talking at a recent pre-screening Q&A with director Amy Berg.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I haven't seen this doc yet, but how are Ellen Page and Juliet Lewis involved? Why would they be interviewed with Amy Berg - unless it's for different projects? It's unclear...

Juliette Lewis features at the end of the movie talking about how Janis influenced her. Ellen Page I presume is a fan but I agree why is she involved? She's not good enough to speak on Janis at one of her film premiers! Why not get one of Janis's friends or musical contempories to speak. It's great that young performers like Ellen are spreading the word about Janis to this generation but I think someone else would have been a better choice to speak.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks very much for posting this great interview. Can't wait to see the film also. So much rare footage it's great this stuff is finally coming out. Also check out this great clip of talk show host Dick Cavett telling brilliant stories of his time hanging out with Janis going to dinner and the movies. He's here talking at a recent pre-screening Q&A with director Amy Berg.

 

You're welcome, Trey, glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for the Cavett Q&A! They seem to have been quite close and you'd never have guessed it by looking at them. 

Juliette Lewis features at the end of the movie talking about how Janis influenced her. Ellen Page I presume is a fan but I agree why is she involved? She's not good enough to speak on Janis at one of her film premiers! Why not get one of Janis's friends or musical contempories to speak. It's great that young performers like Ellen are spreading the word about Janis to this generation but I think someone else would have been a better choice to speak.

 

This is it. Given what you said about Lewis, I guess it makes some sense for her to be there, but without knowing Page's involvement, it stands out as a strange choice given all the options available.

Looking forward to seeing it!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Janis would have been 73 yesterday. In a parallel universe she's enjoying the tributes to her long, distinguished, and utterly original life and career. That's not our lot, but we do have the music and interviews that still leave us so transfixed after all this time.

12523120_979103548824365_252890106439590

(Photo: Getty Images posted on facebook.com/HuffPostWomen)

Check out https://www.facebook.com/janisjoplin/?fref=ts for opening dates of the documentary at a theatre near you.

 

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

^ It's very finally opening in Toronto in a couple of days. In the mean time, here's a lukewarm review. It doesn't dampen my enthusiasm for seeing this doc, but it's interesting to get different points of view about it:

Janis: Little Girl Blue Review

Reviewed by Greg Wetherall.

By Guest -
 
Feb 5, 2016

Janis_600.jpg?resize=600%2C400

The ragged beauty of Janis Joplin’s voice; that diamond-in-the-rough, sandpaper, bluesy holler of surprising power and range, has enraptured listeners for decades. Her premature end in 1970 stunned the music community. It was also, coming at the age of 27, a loss that has gained notoriety for its timing, as she is oft-referred these days as being a founding member of the ill-fated and unfortunate ’27 Club’.

Amy J. Berg, fresh from documentary success charting the controversial West Memphis Three incarceration case in West of Memphis, has turned her attention to a rock icon that was scorched early in life and marked by a fragile ego in spite of her towering talent. Utilising a narration and complementary score by Chan Marshall (better known as indie musician Cat Power), Berg speaks to the key players in Joplin’s musical circle, as well as delving into archive interview and live performance footage, which is bolstered by a reading of correspondence written by Joplin to her parents and others.

We learn of the loneliness she felt, as well as the inspiration that she took from the likes of blues legend Odetta and her ilk. It becomes easy to see why Joplin sought solace and comfort in the pained, excoriating dirge of the blues. Those twelve bar rhythms not only suited her deep timbre, but also the sense of sadness that seemed to permeate her soul. Her start in life didn’t help. She was repeatedly picked-on at school for her appearance. This culminated in an episode where she was even voted ‘ugliest man’ in a cruel poll, and we learn that this event, in particular, ‘crushed’ her.   

The live footage is frequently incendiary, as you would likely expect, but it is also occasionally rambling, as Joplin’s scat impulses veer too closely to the excursions that Robert Plant would take in the Led Zeppelin live show from the era. It is a little self-indulgent and although the feral, mercurial nature of this rough talent is laid bare, some more examples of her restraint would not go amiss amongst the wanton improvisations.

The construction of the documentary itself is also a little unremarkable, making this less of a cinematic experience and more of a thoroughly satisfying television documentary. Executively produced by Alex Gibney, it showcases the more uninspiring aspects of his recent music-based documentary work such as his Fela Kuti film, Finding Fela. There are certainly moments where this features drags rather than soars, and that in itself is a pity.

That said; it is sprinkled with eye-opening passages, one of which is footage by esteemed filmmaker D.A. Pennebaker, who managed to capture a previously nonplussed Mama Cass gawping at Joplin’s vocals and mouthing ‘wow’ to friends sat beside her at the Monterey Pop Festival.

Whilst not a masterpiece in what is a promising, and also quickly growing, Berg canon, this is no disaster either. Fans of Joplin will certainly revel in the material put forward here, in addition to the cautious reverence offered to the subject, which thankfully steers it clear of being an out-and-out hagiography.  

http://www.heyuguys.com/janis-little-girl-blue-review/

 

Edited by Patrycja

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...