We knew what was going to happen to Amy Winehouse.
With every paparazzi shot of a figure emaciated by drug abuse, eating disorders, a bummer of a love life, and the general stress of being a world-famous pop music star whose every move was being tracked, we hoped for the best (her recovery) and feared for the worst (her reality). On July 23, 2011, the British girl with the big voice was found dead in her London home.
Winehouse’s 27-year life – the private one too many of us were allowed to see, and the professional life that soared with her potent mix of rhythm and blues, jazz and blue-eyed soul – is recounted in the acclaimed documentary, Amy. It will make its Flint debut November 27-29 at the Flint Institute of Arts.
Director Asif Kapadia’s movie is considered among the front-runners for the next Oscar for best documentary, and you can judge it for yourself when it plays at the FIA in three screenings as part of the museum’s Friends of Modern Art film series.
Amy has been praised on the Rotten Tomatoes website – where it gained a 97 percent approval rating – as “a powerfully honest look at the twisted relationship between art and celebrity.” It set box office records in England for a documentary release and has been nearly as successful on these shores, attracting a cross-generational audience.
Amy isn’t the only documentary set to play at the FIA in November. The first full weekend of the month, November 6-8, brings Best of Enemies, an account of the feud between two great American public intellectuals: William F. Buckley Jr. and Gore Vidal. The film recalls the 1968 series of nationally televised debates featuring the conservative Buckley and the liberal Vidal – and their impact on modern media. It was a nominee for the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival.
In between those two non-fiction films on the schedule are I’ll See You in My Dreams, slated for November 13-15, and The Diary of a Teenage Girl, on November 20-22.
Blythe Danner has been garnering early Oscar talk for her terrific performance in I’ll See You in My Dreams, a heartfelt comedy-drama. Danner plays a Los Angeles widow who considers a new romantic prospect (played by Sam Elliott) and reconnects with her daughter (Malin Akerman).
Based on Phoebe Gloeckner’s best-selling novel, The Diary of a Teenage Girl is about a teen (Bel Powley) and her too-complicated relationships with her mother and her mom’s boyfriend. Kristen Wiig, Alexander Skarsgård, and Christopher Meloni are the biggest names in the drama described by the British publication The Guardian as “morally complex and sometimes uncomfortably close to the bone.”
In addition to the FOMA titles, the FIA will present the first of four monthly films spotlighting African American culture and issues in partnership with Communities First, Inc. of Flint. On November 12, at one screening only (7pm), the series will open with Brooklyn Boheme, a documentary about the black arts movement in the New York borough in the 1980s and 90s as described by Spike Lee, Branford Marsalis, Chris Rock, and others.
For information on all screenings, visit flintarts.com or call 810.234.1695.
The Diary of a Teenage Girl