Janis: Little Girl Blue

Janis: Little Girl Blue

Amy Berg (2015)

103min
15 Certificate
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Review

Our Score
Janis Joplin has proved to be an elusive subject for a biopic, despite numerous attempts to bring her story to the big screen. But it is hard to imagine a Hollywood spin on her life would be more affecting than this documentary, thanks to the blistering footage that director Amy J Berg has assembled of the singer in all her raw, untamed glory. Berg (West of Memphis) may not have the wealth of cameraphone clips and home movies that Asif Kapadia accessed when he made Amy, but there are numerous tragic parallels elsewhere between Joplin and Amy Winehouse, and their respective documentary portraits. Both were plagued by insecurity and a need for affirmation despite their unique talents. Both battled addiction. And both died tragically young when they were beginning to find a new maturity in their music. In fact, one of the most poignant things about Berg's film is the way it traces the arc of Joplin's growth as an artist and gives a hint of the performer she could have become, as she learns to harness the innately feral talent that made her name.

Summary

Janis Joplin's powerful, soulful voice blazed new creative trails before her untimely death in 1970, aged 27. As director Amy Berg's documentary reveals Joplin's on-stage bravado and uninhibited sexual persona hid hurt and insecurity stemming from her childhood. On relocating from Texas to San Francisco and discovering the blues, she found an outlet for her loneliness and fell into a community that embraced and celebrated her talent. This retrospective includes some of Joplin's most iconic performances, which embodied the musical and cultural revolution of the 1960s. Narrated by Cat Power.

Cast & Crew

Narrator Chan Marshall
Director Amy Berg

Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: DogwoofGuidance: SwearingReleased on: 5 Feb 2016
Music