Amy Winehouse Documentary Headed to Cannes

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Using never-before-seen archival footage, the untitled film will recount the recording artist’s life and career; Focus Features International will shop the high-profile project to foreign buyers at the Cannes Film Market.

Universal Music and acclaimed documentary filmmaker Asif Kapadia are teaming to bring the story of Amy Winehouse‘s life and career to the big screen.

Focus Features International, a division within the Universal empire, will shop the high-profile project to foreign buyers at next month’s Cannes Film Market.

“This is an incredibly modern, emotional and relevant film that has the power to capture the zeitgeist and shine a light on the world we live in in a way that very few films can,” said Kapadia and Gay-Rees.

“Amy was a once-in-a-generation talent who captured everyone’s attention; she wrote and sung from the heart, and everyone fell under her spell. But tragically, Amy seemed to fall apart under the relentless media attention, her troubled relationships, her global success and precarious lifestyle. As a society we celebrated her huge success, but then we were quick to judge her failings when it suited us,” they added.

Winehouse rose to international fame with her second album, Back to Black, which has sold more than 12 million copies worldwide since its release in 2006. The English artist died in 2011 of alcohol poisoning.

“Asif and James have the remarkable ability to bring a moving and thought-provoking story to life, as evidenced by Senna. We look forward to seeing their vision of Amy Winehouse,” Focus International co-president Alison Thompson said.

The untitled Winehouse doc reunites Kapadia with producer James Gay-Rees; they worked together on the 2010 award-winning doc Senna, which recounts the life and death of Brazilian car-racing champion Ayrton Senna.

“There’s another part to her character and persona very few people knew about, and that was her gentleness and warm-heartedness,” says Mitch Winehouse, Amy’s father, noting that his daughter often took care of homeless people and needy children.

Director of “Senna” To Film Documentary About Amy Winehouse

Amy Winehouse performing at Lollapalooza at Grant Park in Chicago on Sunday, Aug. 5, 2007.

Amy Winehouse performing at Lollapalooza in Grant Park in Chicago on Sunday, Aug. 5, 2007.

The late British songwriter/songstress Amy Winehouse will be the subject of a documentary film from director Asif Kapadia and Universal Music. Asif Kapadia, the director of an acclaimed documentary about the Brazilian auto racing champion Ayrton Senna (“Senna“) will next turn his attention to another life lived in a very different fast lane with a film about Amy Winehouse.

Winehouse rose to international fame with her second album, Back to Black, which has sold more than 12 million copies worldwide since its release in 2006. She died in 2011 of alcohol poisoning.

The Associated Press reported that Mr. Kapadia, whose film “Senna” won documentary prizes at the Bafta Awards and the Sundance Film Festival, will work with the producer James Gay-Rees (“Exit Through the Gift Shop”) to tell the story of Ms. Winehouse, the troubled soul singer who died at 27 from accidental alcohol poisoning in 2011.

The project will reunite Kapadia with producer James Gay-Rees, with whom he worked on the 2010 documentary “Senna,” which recounted the life and death of  Ayrton Senna.

The documentary about Ms. Winehouse, which does not yet have a title, will use previously unseen footage to tell the singer’s story and will be distributed by Focus Features International, which plans to introduce the project to buyers at the Cannes film market next month,  the company said.

Mr. Kapadia and Mr. Gay-Rees described the documentary in a joint statement as “an incredibly modern, emotional and relevant film that has the power to capture the zeitgeist and shine a light on the world we live in, in a way that very few films can.”

The filmmakers described Ms. Winehouse in the statement as “a once-in-a-generation talent who captured everyone’s attention; she wrote and sang from the heart and everyone fell under her spell.”

Their statement continued: “But tragically Amy seemed to fall apart under the relentless media attention, her troubled relationships, her global success and precarious lifestyle. As a society we celebrated her huge success but then we were quick to judge her failings when it suited us.”

The Winehouse family said in a statement reported by The Associated Press that, having been approached about many film projects, they believed that Mr. Kapadia and Mr. Gay-Rees would “look at Amy’s story sensitively, honestly and without sensationalizing her.”

In one of her many interviews, Amy Winehouse declared: “I know I’m talented, but I wasn’t put here to sing. I was put here to be a wife and a mom and look after my family. I love what I do, but it’s not where it begins and ends.”  Obviously she was talented. After seeing Amy Winehouse performing live, pretending today’s music has got the same soul is a creepy joke.

A very young Amy

Sources: AP, Universal Music, Asif Kapadia, Youtube, Wikipedia, Google

Amy Winehouse: only now can we glimpse her legacy

Amy Winehouse: ‘There’s nothing more pure apart from your love of music’

Via theguardian

Like many other dead artists, it’s easy to remember the late singer as a tragic caricature. But that betrays her real musical worth

On the first anniversary of the death of Amy Winehouse, found in her bed at her north London home, the afternoon after a night of furious drinking. It was a strangely quiet end to a life racked by drug abuse, musical accolades and wild, reckless love affairs; an evening, according to her bodyguard, of television, vodka and laughter.

In the aftermath, the days were filled with a great swirl of tributes from her admirers, with the graffiti that appeared on the walls of Camden, with the fans who flocked to her local pub, the Hawley Arms, and left flowers outside her home. “We all love you and will continue to love you,” read one. “Your legend lives on.”

As the months rolled by, the fuss slowly settled: the paparazzi decamped from her stomping ground; her parents, Mitch and Janis, began to speak to the press less often. A foundation was set up in her name.

Last December, Island Records released Lioness: Hidden Treasures, a collection of unreleased songs and demos selected by Winehouse’s family along with producers Mark Ronson and Salaam Remi. It immediately reached No 1 in the UK album charts, selling almost 200,000 copies in its first week. To some it seemed rushed out with undue haste, but for others it met not only a demand but a need – solace for the devastated fans who craved more of her very particular brand of salty, rough-edged soul.

It was also, crucially, the first step in the shift away from the Winehouse of common caricature, the Olive Oyl figure with the beehive, and the drug abuse, the saucy mouth and the baleful talk of “Blake Incarcerated”; the artist people had sadly come to expect – who had once offered to lamp a member of the audience at Glastonbury, and who had last graced a stage at a festival in Serbia, where she stood swaying and mumbling before a baying audience of 20,000.

How we process the death of an artist and how their legacy is then established is a peculiar and somewhat unsettling art. There is a gulf to be bridged between the rawness of a musician’s departure and the new world of biopics and boxsets; a period of grace, in which their image and their music must lie in state.

But the velocity of our world now, and the encyclopaedic inclinations of modern technology, make this period of sitting musical shiva harder. In our desire to refresh and consume new entertainment, we are eager to forget that which went before; and should we wish to remember, all of the misdemeanours, the unflattering photographs, the phone camera footage of that shambolic performance in Belgrade are preserved online in perpetuity.

On the cover of its latest issue, Q magazine labels Winehouse “the voice of our time”. It is a bold claim (and some might argue that the true voice of our time is the autotuned drone of American pop), but it is another stride towards the cultivation of her legacy, the fading of those images of the singer roaming the streets with bloodied feet and wild eyes.

After all, though she provided fodder for the gossip columns and the morally outraged, Winehouse also brought something remarkable to the music world, a tarry, beetle-black voice and lyrical humour. A songwriter who wrote of an intensely female experience, of the pain of love, as well as the hunger for sex, drugs and alcohol. And, of course, she helped create an appetite for the soulful British voice, paving the way for the likes of Adele, Duffy and Plan B. It is the voice that we hope will be remembered.

A few months ago, Sony released The Pearl Sessions, a 40th-anniversary edition of Janis Joplin’s first solo album, with previously unreleased recordings and demos. I was struck afresh by that extraordinary voice, by all the hurt and joy and desire wrapped up in the way she sang. And I thought not of the singer dead on the floor beside her bed at the Landmark Hotel in Los Angeles, of the heroin and alcohol and her final, scattered months, but only of the sweet release of her songs. This is how we love an artist and continue to love them. This is how the legend lives on.

• This article was amended on 24 July 2012. The original said a drug addiction charity had been set up in Amy Winehouse’s name. The Amy Winehouse Foundation helps to support young people who are in need for many reasons, including ill health, disability, financial disadvantage or addiction.

A 12-year-old Amy Winehouse wrote that she wanted to make people forget their troubles. On the anniversary of her death, Tim Jonze talks to those who knew her at the start of an extraordinary career

Amy Winehouse in her absolute prime, you MUST WATCH:

On the first anniversary of Winehouse’s death, it’s worth remembering just what a natural, instinctive musician she was. Her later, often shambolic shows (in particular that heartbreaking final performance in Belgrade) have gone some way to obscuring the memory of Winehouse at her best: she was one of the last decade’s true superstars, a performer who could be strong, emotionally devastating, yet vulnerable, too. A 2006 appearance at the Other Voices festival in Dingle, which screens for the first time on BBC4 on Monday night, remains one of her most powerful: the singer is mesmerising as she interprets several songs from Back to Black over a stripped-back band.

Airing on BBC4 Monday July 23rd at 10pm and the opening film of the East End Film Festival on July 3rd this BBC Arena / Other Voices co-production with exclusive concert and archive footage, highlights Amy’s unique talent and explores her deep affection for jazz, soul and gospel.