It’s a little funny to look at the week gone by and think to myself “Only seven movies?..”. That’s where my habit has brought me: a place where one-a-day feels like a down week.
I think I made a wrong turn near Albuquerque…
The standout of the week for me was handily MISS SHARON JONES!, which I’d been meaning to see since it played TIFF two years back…but which I only caught up with after the unfortunate passing of its subject.
Where rock docs are concerned, I’m a bit of a fussy connoisseur. So many so-called “documentaries” about this singer or that are too often simply electronic press kits for an album or a tour. It disguises itself at being “an in-depth look” or “behind the scenes”, when in-truth it’s just voyeurism for fans. Or it’s the umpteenth career-spanning look at an act that has had far too many career-spanning looks.
Now and then, though, something good arrives when a documentary focuses on one act going though one moment in time.
MISS SHARON JONES! is one of these. The film is a powerful look at one artist at an important junction for her life and career…and the way one affects the other.
Funny thing though: When a film fixates on a moment, it doesn’t anticipate the moments that follow.
Where MISS SHARON JONES! is concerned, the focus on her cancer treatment does indeed make for a good film. It takes the struggle to gain success as an artist and pits it against the struggle to stay alive. It asks painful questions about what one person’s health will mean for the artistic careers of the people around her, and how their lives are likewise affected by something out of their control.
More than anything though, it allows us a deeper look at Jones human side with the way she has fought so hard for her career to get where it finally is. Then, how all of that success gets thrown into chaos thanks to cancer.
Unfortunately, just fourteen months after the film’s premiere, Jones passed away from pancreatic cancer. So what we see now is a story that seems like a win, that is in fact just a brief victory before an ultimate loss. It doesn’t diminish from the raw emotion on-screen – the tension, sorrow, and joy that everyone at Dap-Tone undergo around Sharon through her cancer treatment. What it does do is make us wonder what came next.
No documentary can go on and on, of course (well, except the 7-UP series)…but once in a blue moon, you watch one moment get captured on-screen and wonder what happened during the moment after.
Here’s the week at hand…
TONI ERDMANN – Matineecast coming on Monday, but boy-oh-boy, guys…
THE LEGO BATMAN MOVIE – I liked it more than THE LEGO MOVIE, but not sure just how much I gleaned from it.
Streaming/Blu-Rays/DVD’s I’ve Never Seen
PATERSON – Is it weird that I want to go to New Jersey now and write poems? Maybe I’ll just read some William Carlos Williams.
MISS SHARON JONES! – See this, then listen to some of the woman’s work.
Streaming/Blu-Rays/DVD’s I’ve Seen Before
BIRDMAN – I want to come back to this film in a Dew Over manner in three more years and see if people hate it less…or like it more.
SPOTLIGHT – The world we live in now will need the fifth estate, folks. This film is a stark reminder.
Boxscore for The Year
25 First-Timers, 20 Re-Watched
45 Movies in Total
How’s about you – seen anything good?