A study, mostly chronological, of the life of Nick Drake (1948-1974). Gabrielle, his older sister, tells us of her brother's birth in Burma, childhood in Warwickshire, life at Cambridge and... See full summary »
A study, mostly chronological, of the life of Nick Drake (1948-1974). Gabrielle, his older sister, tells us of her brother's birth in Burma, childhood in Warwickshire, life at Cambridge and in London, then back to his parents' home in Tanworth. His parents describe his habits and personality. Two friends and the producer, arranger, sound engineer, and photographer for his three albums comment. His mother, a musician and poet, is an early influence. His quiet folk style made his one tour a disaster. His lack of success and gradual withdrawal end with his death at 26. Eleven of his recordings play on the soundtrack, usually as we see his room, a city, or the Warwickshire countryside. Written by
Could have been longer, but certainly a "must" if you're into Nick
Nick Drake was an undisputed musical genius. His three albums FIVE LEAVES LEFT, BRYTER LATER and PINK MOON contain a unique beauty which no other musician to this date has succeeded in copying, despite many attempts. His work was not very successful while he was alive, but today, more than thirty years after his passing, he is more "in" than ever. Listening to one of his lesser known --but still most beautiful-- recordings TIME OF NO REPLY is an experience as overwhelmingly beautiful no matter how many times you've heard it previously. When I heard it for the first time a cold winter night, I couldn't help crying. Tears kept running down my cheeks while I was thinking, "My God, what a genius." Today, his songs are used in big movie productions; other musicians cover him; and his talent is frequently celebrated in festivals, in books, on the Internet, etc.
And yet ... I still miss a two-hour long documentary. A SKIN TO FEW is only about 50 minutes long, and while Nick's life was very short, it could certainly have included more information. Still, as this movie stands as the best we can get, it is without doubt a "must" if you're a fan of Drake. The most interesting parts are the interview with his sister Gabrielle --who talks about his childhood, and share memories of the last years before her brother's tragic death-- and the only existing footage of Nick, which was taken while he was a child. Also noteworthy is the interview with Joe Boyd (once Nick's friend and producer), and to hear Nick's mother Molly sing from an old tape recorder is a unique and wonderful experience; "Although he perhaps would have denied it," Gabrielle laughs, "Nick was undoubtedly very inspired by our mother."
The most beautiful moment is the ending, though; we witness Nick, aged two or three years old, at the beach, while we listen to his song NORTHERN SKY (which is as beautiful as it is impressive) in the background.
As said previously, A SKIN TO FEW is a very well done documentary, I only wish it was longer. Recommended to fans of the wonderful Nick Drake, absolutely -- if you can find it!
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