Friday, July 17, 2015

Personal Music --- Day 4/169

Walk: JCC, Sundance Kabuki
Distance: 3.6 miles and yoga class

Here's what you don't want to be: ....Famous.  Winehouse didn't; it never touched her and felt like a foreign presence to her even as she was one of the most famous people in the world.

Amy is an inescapably sad experience made almost entirely from original archival footage. Ciwt is glad she went.  For one, Amy is very masterfully made constructing a full life from the footage.  But, more importantly, Ciwt was out of the Winehouse loop while she was alive and really only 'knew' her from the glaring, merciless headlines of her final years.  From those Ciwt chalked up Amy as an addled, self-destructive, attention-craving pop star druggie.

It wasn't until she saw the Tony Bennett documentary (The Zen of Bennett - CIWT 302) that Ciwt encountered the extraordinary, jaw-dropping talent that Winehouse was.  Just a Jewish girl from London with the soul and innate musical depth of the greatest of the jazz greats - Billie, Sarah for two.  Ciwt was stunned and guilty for having written off Winehouse based on the papparazzi without investigating what she and her music were actually about.  So now Ciwt feels appreciative for the opportunity to rectify that shallowness and spend a few illuminating, ultimately sad hours with that powerful voice, fierce genius and vulnerable soul.

As the fame (with its attendant reprehensible users - particularly her father), drugs and diseases play out, the documentary is harrowing and hateful.  But then there come the early clips and close ups again, that marvelous, raw energy and talent. And Ciwt returned to why she came. Somebody once said - and Ciwt thinks it's perfect here - This is what music looks like when it becomes a person. 

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