Relief from Hollywood’s Big Summer Bombs
20 FEET FROM STARDOM (2013/IN THEATERS) In case you’ve missed it, this terrific documentary—which boasts a 98% rating on Rotten Tomatoes– tells the story of the black back-up singers you’ve heard on so many of your favorite tracks over the years. Among the singers featured are Darlene Love, Lisa Fischer, Judith Hill, Claudia Lennear, Merry Clayton and Tata Vega. Some readers of this blog will recognize those names—I confess I didn’t—but wow, I sure recognized their voices! Directed by Morgan Neville, the film presents these women to us in their current careers and allows them to talk openly about their past gigs and struggles to “move to the front” of the stage. Interviews with the likes of Bruce Springsteen, Stevie Wonder, Mick Jagger and Sting, to name just a few, add depth to the portraits. And of course, we’re treated to wonderful footage and sound from 1970s era performances featuring the Rolling Stones, Joe Cocker, David Bowie, and even George Harrison and Ringo in Harrison’s signature concert for Bangladesh. The stories are poignant but not sappy. These women are tough! Don’t miss this flick—such an improvement over all the CGI and mass destruction filling up the multi-plex right now.