An in-depth, award-winning documentary on the life and music of legendary bluesman ROBERT JOHNSON. Mixing rare photographs, exclusive interviews, and dramatic re-creations, director PETER ...
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An in-depth, award-winning documentary on the life and music of legendary bluesman ROBERT JOHNSON. Mixing rare photographs, exclusive interviews, and dramatic re-creations, director PETER MEYER presents a compelling portrait of this enigmatic figure. Hosted by Danny Glover with Keb' Mo' as Robert Johnson, featuring Johnny Shines, Honeyboy Edwards, John Hammond, Eric Clapton, Keith Richards. Written by
Can't You Hear the Wind Howl? The Life & Music of Robert Johnson (1997)
** 1/2 (out of 4)
Danny Glover hosts and narrates this documentary tracing the life and music of Robert Johnson, the famed bluesman who recorded just 29 songs but managed to leave a lasting legacy decades after his murder. Jim O'Neil, Johnny Shines, Honeyboy Edwards, John Hammond, Jr., Eric Clapton and Keith Richards are among the people interviewed as they talk about Johnson, his impact and the various stages of his life both fact and fiction. Overall this is a decent documentary but it's still miles behind 1992's THE SEARCH FOR ROBERT JOHNSON and it should be noted that a few of the interviews here are actually taken from that earlier documentary. I think the main problem with this documentary is that the story structure is just all over the place and I never really felt that the film ever built up a good flow. The entire thing seemed to move at different paces and in the end it just felt a bit uneven with some strange and boring re-enactments that really didn't add anything to the picture. Of course, the strongest aspect is simply the music itself. We get several audio clips of Johnson's music and this here is certainly the main reason to tune in. There's also the mysterious story of Johnson himself as people believed that he had sold his soul to the Devil in exchange for being able to play music. There's also the mysterious death where he was poisoned and buried in a location that no one knows. Fans of Johnson might want to check this out but those new to him should probably start with the 1992 picture.
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