This documentary was made three years after Jimi Hendrix's untimely death. At the time it was an example of how a visual biography should be done, but some of the information in it needs ... See full summary »
Growing up in the small town of Kyogle in Northern NSW was not an easy childhood for Hendrix Bell. With his hippy parents preferring to festival-hop rather than raise him, mixed with a town... See full summary »
Giselle van der Wiel,
Biography of rock star Jimi Hendrix chronicles his early career, including a stint with Little Richard who fired him for getting too flamboyant, to his tragic failure. Struggling to find a ... See full summary »
This documentary was made three years after Jimi Hendrix's untimely death. At the time it was an example of how a visual biography should be done, but some of the information in it needs revising in the light of new information uncovered over the years. The film contains concert footage spanning the Marquee in 1967 to his last UK performance at the third Isle of Wight festival in 1970; along the way we see classic performances at Monterey (1967), Woodstock (1969), Fillmore East (1969/70), and Berkeley (1970). A double album was released to tie-in with the film, containing the complete performances in the film, along with interviews with people in the film (not necessarily the same interviews). The film is worth seeing for Jimi's performances, and to hear what his contemporaries have to say about him (Eric Clapton, Mitch Mitchell, Lou Reed, Mick Jagger, Pete Townsend, and others). Written by
An enjoyable and personal biography with a great structure
Made several years after the death of Jimi Hendrix, this film looks back at his career through the eyes of his family, peers, friends and fans. Recollections and anecdotes are broken up by various live performances and interviews with Hendrix himself.
I have never taken the time to find out whether I am a fan of Hendrix or not; sure I like everything I have heard but that is different from being a fan. However watching this film made me more interested in hearing more from him because of how well put together it is. Ignoring the subject for a minute, the strength of the film is in the structure and delivery. The film is not trying to factually capture Hendrix from cradle to grave but rather look at him as an entertainer and a man. To do this we get live footage of him mixed with plenty of contributions from others who knew him. To make the point that these contributions are good, the edit overlaps several people telling the same stories and I liked the way this worked.
The film also manages to keep focused while also allowing the contributors to speak personally and from their own experiences of him not in glib sound bites but mostly in natural chatting and recollections. These are worked well to produce a narrative flow, building on what we know about the man and his music. Structure wise it is an impressive biography and you could nearly watch the film for this alone. Of course the film itself is not about the way it is put together but rather about the title character. Here the film is also strong as we see him on stage and instantly get what it was that people like/liked about him. He has a great stage presence and is recognisable as being a creative force. However the use of interviews etc also shows him to be quite a quiet and shy type and I liked this aspect of his character and the way the way the film brought it out.
For fans then, it is a given that you will enjoy this but it will also work for the casual viewer with a passing interest in his music; this is what I was and the film drew me into the man more than I had been. I think it is unlikely anyone would watch it for structure alone, but I must comment that it is this that is another reason why the film works as well as it does.
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