Asif Kapadia’s Amy had an Out of Competition Midnight Screening here in Cannes last week and is easily one of the films receiving the most praise across the Official Selection. The documentary about Amy Winehousestunned in its premiere and is gearing up for a July 3 release in both the U.S. and the UK, via A24 and Altitude, respectively. The film is the tragic and remarkable story of the six-time Grammy-winner and features extensive unseen archive footage and previously unheard tracks.
Winehouse died in 2011 at age 27 of alcohol poisoning.
British filmmaker Asif Kapadia is reportedly in possession a large amount of never before released footage and demo tracks with Amy Winehouse.
Island Records released Amy Winehouse’s final, posthumous album Lioness: Hidden Treasures five months after her death in 2011. Since then there’s been little in the way of previously unreleased content from her. That may be changing soon. British filmmaker Asif Kapadia is currently working on Amy, an eponymously named documentary about the famously troubled soul singer. In addition to sit down interviews with friends and loved ones Kapadia says that his doc will feature “extensive unseen archive footage and previously unheard tracks.”
“A once-in-a-generation talent and a pure jazz artist in the most authentic sense, Amy wrote and sung from the heart using her musical gifts to analyse her own problems,” he said of his film subject. “The combination of her raw honesty and supreme talent resulted in some of the most original and adored songs of the modern era.”
Kapadia has yet to announce a release date, but the film’s first teaser trailer has just been released and it’s uncanny just how prescient a younger Winehouse was about what a monster fame would ultimately become for her.
“I don’t think I’m going to be at all famous,” she says. “I don’t think I could handle it. I would probably go mad.”
Fans from across the world travelled to Camden, north London, yesterday to celebrate the unveiling of a bronze statue of the late Amy Winehouse. Collaboratively designed by sculptor Scott Eaton and Winehouse’s father Mitch, the statue depicts Amy with her trademark beehive bouffant and a star of David.
"The hand on the hip, the turn of the head, the grabbing of the skirt, the turned in foot - these are all small elements that contribute to the personality of the piece,” Eaton told The Guardian.
The unveiling marks the three year anniversary of Amy Winehouse’s untimely death after a long, public battle with alcohol and drug addiction. Following her death by accidental alcohol poisoning, Winehouse’s father established The Amy Winehouse Foundation that focuses on providing drug abuse in youth communities.
"They don't put statues up for people who are with us anymore so it reinforces the fact that physically she's gone but spiritually she'll never leave us,” said Mitch Winehouse after adorning the statue with a living red rose. “We shouldn't be here but we are, this is the reality and we've just got to make the most of it. Getting people to come here, spend some time with Amy and put a flower in her hair and remember her in a very positive way. That for me is wonderful.”
Watch video of Amy Winehouse’s memorial statue unveiling AFTER THE JUMP...
Today in ridiculous right-wing delusions: Evangelist Lou Engle claims he and 100,000 can pray HIV/AIDS away.
Here, because the world demanded it, is an Alexander McQueen dress made of 50,000 gummy bears.
Where were the bells and whistles for Michael Musto, the journalist who came out long, long ago? "Openly gay was the only way to go, and it did cause problems along the way, but I still wouldn't have even considered being in the closet... I stood my ground, but the gay groups paid it no notice, preferring to reward either closet cases or the types of gay who are tastefully out--i.e., they mention it once in an interview, then never again, certainly not while on camera."
Listen to rapper Nas and the late Amy Winehouse's collaboration, "Cherry Wine."
Just a few months after asking for forgiveness for consistently bashing gay people in his music, Reggae artist Beenie Man offers this comment homosexuality: "I cannot, I do not support a gay lifestyle, because it’s not wholesome to mines. But I don’t have the right fi tell a man say, 'Your decision is wrong.' I don’t have the right if tell a man say, 'Who you love is the wrong person.' It’s not my right. None at all whatsoever."
In the ten years since he began recording as Owen, Chicago native Mike Kinsella has managed to wage as idiosyncratic a career as reality will allow. His sixth album, Ghost Town, represents a synthesis of sorts — where complex folk and songs about fatherhood ("O, Evelyn") intersect with understated guitar solos and oddly innocent sexual suggestions ("Too Many Moons"). Kinsella's paradox, then, is not so much that he's conflicted as it is that he's integrated: Young male singers with acoustic guitars have a tendency to dwell in maudlin strokes of misanthropy, but Ghost Town is more playful than that. Even its tensest moment — on the vibraphone-assisted "No Place Like Home" — channels adult frustration through territorial playground innocence; its harshest pronouncement ("F*ck you and your front lawn") is too cute to generate any ill feelings. At a time when pop records mistake arrogance for empowerment, Ghost Town disarms us with a rare insightful humility.
Deerhunter's Bradford Cox releases a new album under his Atlas Sound guise this week, and in a recent interview with Rolling Stone, Cox was decisive in his mission statement: "Hetero-centric, boring scruffy 20-year-olds are ruining the f*cking face of rock and roll," he said. So what's missing? "Queerness. Homoeroticism. Boyhood."
The Museum of Modern Art has tapped Antony Hegarty to write, produce, and perform a "performance event" at Radio City Music Hall early next year: "Envisioned as a meditation on light, nature, and femininity, 'Swanlights' includes songs from all four of Antony and the Johnsons' albums set to symphonic arrangements by Nico Muhly, Rob Moose, and Maxim Moston."
This week's essential new streams and downloads: Two songs from the forthcoming posthumous album by Amy Winehouse have leaked. Check out "Our Day Will Come" and "Like Smoke," which features a guest turn from rapper Nas. Dashboard Confessional's Chris Carrabba is offering a free four-song download called Covered in the Flood. The EP consists of reworked material from Big Star, The Replacements, and more. The first song from Nada Surf's forthcoming seventh album, The Stars are Indifferent to Astronomy, is called "When I Was Young." And Björk released a new clip for "Thunderbolt" as an exclusive video stream at Boing Boing.
Dresden Dolls' Amanda Palmer invited acclaimed out singer-songwriter (and Magnetic Fields mainman) Stephin Merritt — in addition to Moby and author Neil Gaiman — to perform a Rocky Horror Picture Show classic for her appearance on the Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson. It's bizarre! But it was Halloween, of course.
SOUND & VISION:
Architecture in Helsinki — "W.O.W."
The latest single from Moment Bends is a stark, but effective electropop track that demands a stark, monochromatic video treatment. But don't interpret that to mean Architecture in Helsinki have gone dark: Nothing says feel-good like swimming with dolphins and coming in for the hug.
Matt Cardle — "Starlight"
Carpenter-turned-UK X Factor winner Matt Cardle recently performed at London's G-A-Y because, well, he knows the gays loved him from the second he showed up on TV in his plaid shirt and painter's cap. The video for Letters' second single, "Starlight," reads more like a counterpart to Katy Perry's "Fireworks" — sans the exploding bra — but the song is in the classic anthemic Britpop mold of Coldplay and Embrace.
Mates of State — "Sway"
"Sway" is the kind of ebullient indie-pop song you'd throw on at the beginning of a road trip, but for Mates of State, the song has something more to do with winding up in a Lewis Carroll–like world and meeting a moss-growing, blue-skinned man who is capable of giving you the prom you never had as a teenager. By the clip's end, you'll concede they have a point.
Simone Battle — "He Likes Boys"
The first US X Factor cast off to release a single, Simone Battle's "He Likes Boys" tells the story of a woman who has terrible gaydar, bathes in sequin singlets, and decides that having a "new gay best friend" is just as great as seducing him. It's convoluted! And awkward! But while I can't figure out whether or not the song is cute or condescending, I'm confident this won't be the last contemporary pop song written by people who watch way too much Will & Grace.