James Gay-rees

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James Gay-Rees, Guest, Victoria Harwood , Asif Kapadia - 88th Annual Academy (Oscars) Awards held at Hollywood & Highland Center - Arrivals at Hollywood & Highland Center in Hollywood, Oscars - Los Angeles, California, United States - Sunday 28th February 2016

James Gay-rees, Guest, Victoria Harwood and Asif Kapadia

James Gay-Rees , Asif Kapadia - Vanity Fair Oscar Party 2016 held at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills - Los Angeles, California, United States - Sunday 28th February 2016

James Gay-rees and Asif Kapadia

James Gay-Rees, Asif Kapadia, Daisy Ridley , Dev Patel - 88th Annual Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre - Press Room at Dolby Theatre, Academy Awards - Hollywood, California, United States - Sunday 28th February 2016

James Gay-rees, Asif Kapadia, Daisy Ridley and Dev Patel
James Gay-rees, Asif Kapadia, Daisy Ridley and Dev Patel

Asif Kapadia, Chris King, James Gay-Rees , David Joseph - EE British Academy Film Awards 2016 (BAFTAs) held at Royal Opera House - Press Room at British Academy Film Awards - London, United Kingdom - Sunday 14th February 2016

Asif Kapadia, Chris King, James Gay-rees and David Joseph

Amy Review

Excellent

As with his Formula One documentary Senna, filmmaker Asaf Kapadia cleverly uses archival footage to explore the wrenching story of Amy Winehouse. It's a strikingly journalistic approach that refuses to let anyone off the hook even as it draws out their deepest emotions. Lyrically edited by Chris King, the film is both beautiful and achingly sad, especially as it engulfs the audience on a big cinema screen.

A naturally gifted musician, Amy started writing her own songs at age 14 and had a publishing deal by 16, performing in small clubs as well as with the National Youth Jazz orchestra. At 20, her debut 2003 album Frank caused ripples in the industry with its jazz-infused vocals. And three years later, her follow-up Back in Black catapulted her into global stardom, something she never wanted. To escape the clamouring paparazzi and ever-larger audiences, she retreated into her on-off relationship with Blake Fielder, including a two-year marriage. But their key escape was to use large quantities of alcohol and drugs, which began to take a toll on Amy's career, leading to rambling interviews and shambolic stage appearances. In her lucid moments, she still had that raw power, and a series of rehab stints helped her conquer drugs. But in 2011, her alcohol consumption finally stopped her heart, which had been weakened by decades of bulimia.

Kapadia recounts this story using a staggering array of home movies, performance footage and press imagery, letting her prescient song lyrics play out across the screen as she performs them in homes, recording studios, TV shows and a variety of stages. Meanwhile, she tells her story in voiceover taken from interviews, plus new comments from her family, friends and colleagues. All of this is assembled with skill by the filmmakers to recount Amy's story chronologically, never shying away from the hard truths while refusing to let those closest to her adjust the material to revise history. In other words, it's sometimes brutally honest, not in the way it assigns blame but in the way it creates a portrait of a system that feeds off artists without properly looking out for them.

Continue reading: Amy Review

Senna Review


Good
Using his own words in interviews done throughout his life, this slightly unambitious documentary recounts the fascinating story of Brazilian Formula One legend Ayrton Senna.

A natural-born driver, Senna was a soft-spoken, likeable young guy whose wealthy family backed his career from the start, indulging in his passion for go-karts. they also supported as he fought his way into Formula One and rapidly rose to fame due to his sheer talent. As he speaks, we see the importance of religion in his life, his deep desire to improve life for Brazil's children, and how he learned from mistakes as he earned three championship titles. He also boldly dismissed the politics of the sport and stood up to anything that was unfair.

Continue reading: Senna Review

Blackball Review


Weak
Apparently there is a sport in Britain with the awkward name of "lawn bowls" that is essentially shuffleboard on a grass lawn.

And apparently, this oddity merited being the subject of a feature film from National Lampoon, the former cultural touchstone that has now become the bottom feeder of American lowbrow humor.

Continue reading: Blackball Review

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James Gay-Rees Movies

Amy Movie Review

Amy Movie Review

As with his Formula One documentary Senna, filmmaker Asaf Kapadia cleverly uses archival footage to...

Senna Movie Review

Senna Movie Review

Using his own words in interviews done throughout his life, this slightly unambitious documentary recounts...

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