Monday, July 13, 2015


In the past 5 or 6 years, probably the three artists I love most have been Laurie Colwin, Iris DeMent, and Amy Winehouse. So of course I wanted to see the documentary, and thanks to Ilana's kind offer to babysit, Francisco and I burned the midnight oil and went to a 9:45 showing.

What's really good about this documentary is the way it ties her life to her songs. You get the backstory to her songs and her biography all at once. And through old videos, you get to see her as a kid and a teenager. (Which might only be interesting if you really like her already.)

But boy is it hard to watch: I felt like I was on the verge of tears for an hour. A rough family situation, a husband into drugs, and a quick rise to fame at a young age all turned into a catastrophe. And what you see more than anything is the isolation and the loneliness of fame. (I remember being struck by this when I read My Sergei, about an Olympic figure skater, when I was a kid. Since reading that book, I never envied great success: I wouldn't trade my set of family and friends for fame or fortune.)

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