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Arena: Alone with Chrissie Hynde

Arena: Alone with Chrissie Hynde

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Review

You probably have a mental image of the Pretenders lead singer: the Winkleman fringe, kohl-rimmed eyes and punkish stance: the very definition of sass. So this mellow, reflective film is a surprise. Yes, there are clips of the spiky rocker with brass very much in pocket. But otherwise this is where Chrissie Hynde is now: kicking back in her west London home with Peter Tosh or Tim Buckley on the turntable or showing off her vibrantly hued paintings.

The film follows Hynde from her Paris flat to a cosy gig at London’s Omeara, and a radio show with pal Sandra Bernhard in New York to childhood haunts in Akron, Ohio. Bypassing her traumatic past including the drug deaths of band members, and overlooking the stadium years and significant collaborations, Arena instead shows us a plain-speaking performer content with being alone, as comfortable in cemeteries as she is in the crook of a tree. As a recent lyric puts it, “No one to say you’re doing it wrong”.

Summary

A thoughtful and intimate portrait of the rock musician, following her shopping for clothes in Paris, hanging out with Sandra Bernhard in New York, spending time in London and taking a special trip back to her home town of Akron, Ohio. The documentary also features Chrissie giving a live performance at one of London's newest venues.

Cast & Crew

Contributor Chrissie Hynde
Director Nicola Roberts
Editor Alex Jones
Series Editor Anthony Wall

Music Documentary Arts

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