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 ...
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An unauthorized biography. Leon Hendrix, brother to Jimi opens up in an exclusive interview first looking at the family issues then at the private Jimi and the professional musician. In ... 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 ... See full summary »
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Follows a day in the life of two men living at either end of the music game. A successful rapper, A-Maze, is dealing with the pitfalls and trappings of his success and facing new challenges... See full summary »
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Thomas Braxton Jr.,
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 niche, he moves to England where he becomes friends with musician and producer Chas Chandler (Christian Portenza). Chas then teams him with Mitch Mitchell and Noel Redding (Krit Holdenreid, Christopher Ralph) to form the Experience. As Hendrix gets public attention, Chas then introduces him to a major record producer (Billy Zane) who takes over his career. While this gets Hendrix international exposure, it also places him in the hands of people interested only in the money aspects that his career offers them. One of the early disasters foisted on him by the record company is an opening bill for "The Monkees" on an American tour. His then unknown act is booed by teens just wanting to see their idols. A genius and a perfectionist, Hendrix drives everyone crazy as he starts making albums himself ... Written by
John Sacksteder <email@example.com>
terrible movie, but a great performance by Wood Harris
I didn't see the beginning and came upon this movie just by "zapping through", in the scene where Faye Pridgeon (Vivica A. Fox) tells Jimi "The Village ain't no neighborhood for a black man, Jimi, you'll see!" What follows then (not surprising for a made-for-TV movie) is a ridiculous medley of some terrible acting, really bad wigs and wannabe sixties set productions, reminiscent in parts of Oliver Stone's Doors movie. I guess I was watching for a little while just for amusement, when it occurred to me that Wood Harris as Jimi was catching my attention. He is giving a consistent performance throughout this inconsistent movie, channeling "his" Jimi Hendrix, who comes across as curious, vulnerable, friendly, pacifistic, bottled up, addictive, selfish, self-destructive, sad and complicated. That for me is an accurate enough description of the real-life Jimi to be satisfied. Also Harris looks a hell of a lot like Jimi and has the only talented wardrobe person on the set working for him (I wouldn't be surprised if he himself chose some of his own wardrobe). It is a hard task to begin with for an actor to portray a legend like Jimi, also performing on stage, making us believe he plays the guitar like one of the most unusual virtuosos of our time. On top of that, the concerts he is required to reenact are some of the most viewed (and admired) Jimi Hendrix performances: Monterey Pop Festival, Woodstock etc. but I think he does it really well. The moment where he addresses the crowd at Monterey and tells them something like "I can't tell you 'thank you', 'thank you', 'thank you' enough - I just want to hug you all, squeeze you, like, uh..." you get this fuzzy feeling of a Hendrix who was not a cool and distant rock-star but a boyish, tripping (he just dropped acid), loving musician who did manage to transcend some of that love through his music. Wood Harris stands up to any close-up shots. He has a vast repertory of emotions going through his face, his eyes becoming more and more distant and blind throughout the movie, indicating effectively the disillusion with life and inability to 'understand' and cope that tormented Jimi Henrix. I do like also that the use of drugs is subtly indicated and not used in a melodramatic way. After all, they were the 'chosen' remedy against the disillusion and not its cause. There is a scene where Chas Chandler says goodbye to Jimi who talks but isn't really there. During the conversation he feeds his void, constantly swallowing pills, flushing them with alcohol, taking a drag off a pipe, while saying things like "Yeah, I'm cool man" in this almost, but not quite convincing tone. The drug use is indicated as barely noticed by Jimi himself, but very much noticed by his surroundings, unable to stop it or even address it. There is another scene which sticks with me: The "Plaster Casters" are visiting Jimi to make a cast of his penis. They show him the cast of Keith Moon's penis which is apparently not quite matching up to Jimi's size. The laugh with which Jimi responds is not one of an arrogant rock-god, but eerily confused, part what he feels is expected of him, part surprise with the seriousness of the "Plaster Casters" and part amusement with him winning this "contest" without having actually done anything. The movie seems so plump and with no real direction for the actors that it is beyond me how Wood Harris managed to give such a versatile performance. I wonder if he will be equally stunning in portraying completely different characters or if he just managed to channel Jimi Hendrix so well. I will certainly keep his name in mind and hope he will get interesting parts offered in more serious, important and artfully done movies. The worst part of "Hendrix" is the ending - no symbolism, no poetics, no mystery, just a text appearing informing us (what we already know ) how he died and this quote of his about transcending love and spirituality - well, dear director, that is exactly what your movie was supposed to do, to SHOW us what is in this quote, leaving no need to SPELL it out in the end....
6 of 9 people found this review helpful.
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