December 22, 2013

20 Feet from Stardom (2013)

20 Feet from Stardom (2013) - Movie Review
Directed by: Morgan Neville
Country: USA

Movie Review: “20 Feet from Stardom” is an appreciable documentary about some of the most known backup singers who have been playing with the greatest bands and musicians along the years. After watching it, I got the clear notion of their powerful work, both on stage and backstage, and the tough life that sometimes their confident voices can conceal. The film gives us historical insight on how everything started, explaining the transition from white singers (called ‘readers’ due to their inability to improvise) to black singers, in times where cultural differences were seen as an obstacle. Songs such as Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Sweet Home Alabama”, “Lou Reed’s “Walk on the Wild Side” or David Bowie’s “Young Americans” revealed to be of great cultural importance in music history. Actually, it was quite rewarding to hear musicians such as Springsteen, Botti, Sting, or Jagger, affirming the pleasure they feel when giving enough space to backup singers, so they can loose and create something by themselves. These opportunities to shine represent what music should be: a joyful communion among all the musicians involved. Additionally, we can learn more about the motivations, expectations, and past lives of these magnificent singers, featuring Lisa Fischer, Merry Clayton, Marlene Love, and Judith Hill. Regardless if the stories carry sadness, happiness, mischance, or lucky, each one of them seemed rich and talented enough to turn “20 Feet from Stardom” into a conclusive and fascinating documentary.

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