André Benjamin is actually a mediocre guitar player. In an interview with NME he said: "One of the hardest parts [was] I'm a right-hand guitar player. I'm a horrible right-hand guitar player. I wouldn't even call myself a guitar player; I just pick it up and fiddle with it every now and then. When it came time to do the left-hand thing, it's almost like walking backwards and making walking backwards look normal." See more »
A close-up of the white Fender Stratocaster guitar shows new-style block bridge pieces, which did not exist in 1966. See more »
Things you love, they stay with you. If you want them to or not.
You have a very annoying way of being quite simply profound.
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Man, I don't know what drugs some of these other reviewers are on. One person seems to be under the impression that the movie claims Jimi didn't play guitar before he came to England. WTF? Another person claims the film is racist because it accurately portrays white people helping Jimi move to London and start his own band. Yet another person claims Eric Clapton didn't walk off the stage when Jimi sat in with Cream because Clapton doesn't mention it when he's interviewed, but plenty of others remember it that way, and Clapton isn't going to go out of his way to bring up something that makes him look bad. Which brings us to Ms. Etchingham. You know, every time you watch a documentary about Hendrix there's an interview with a different woman whose only claim to fame in life is that she slept with Jimi, and they all seem to be self-appointed guardians of his legacy, every one of them was the real true love of his life, and none of them have a single negative word to say about him. But Hendrix was a famous womanizer—how he juggled jealous women is part of the focus of the film—and it is well known that he became angry and violent when he drank. So maybe Jimi beat her and maybe he didn't, but if he did I wouldn't really expect Ms. Etchingham to admit it, and if he didn't it doesn't really bother me that much because the episode can be viewed as a metaphor for a darker side of his personality that really did exist and wouldn't have been explored in the film without that scene.
Artistically I thought the film was a triumph and one of the best rock biopics I've seen. Andre Benjamin NAILS Jimi. He deserves an Oscar nomination for his performance. He obviously spent a lot of time listening to audio of Jimi speaking because he captured the rhythm and inflections of Jimi's speech perfectly. And acting-wise Benjamin was excellent, I thought he got inside Jimi's character even more than Jamie Foxx did in Ray. As an actor he was remarkably in the moment and very subtle. And the female leads are with him all the way, especially Imogen Poots as Linda Keith, she's soooo good. The reviewer who said that the "crazy cuts and directing style" gave him a headache would undoubtedly get a cerebral hemorrhage from a Godard film, the editing was artistically innovative and miles ahead of standard Hollywood flicks like Get On Up and Ray.
As for the lack of original Hendrix songs, in the end it didn't bother me much. In a way it might have worked to the film's advantage, because it forced the director to concentrate more on creating a character study based on dialogue and narrative instead of recreating one performance clip after another, as in Get On Up. And anyhow, two-thirds of the movie takes place before Jimi put together the Experience and started writing songs. I did wonder why they didn't use "Hey Joe" since Jimi didn't write it and he was playing it onstage when Chas Chandler saw him for the first time. But overall, I loved the movie and thought it rocked hard.
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