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
Leanne Mitchell probably won't even make the Top 100 with her debut album.
Oh dear. Last year's winner of The Voice, Leanne Mitchell, is likely to miss the Top 100 on Sunday's Official Chart rundown after selling less than 500 copies of her self-titled debut album. Over seven million people tuned in to watch the holiday camp entertainer triumph on last season's show and land a record contract with music giant Universal.
However, the label appears to have dawdled over any recorded material whilst simultaneously failing to keep Mitchell in the press, at all. The singer and her mentor Tom Jones will be scratching their heads at the result, given runner-up Bo Bruce saw her album go in at No.10 in the charts and another contender in the 2012 series, Tyler James, managed No.47 with his debut release in October.
The sales disaster will leave many of the singers competing on the current season of The Voice whether it's even worth winning the competition. On ITV's X-Factor show, most of its successful acts - JLS, One Direction, Olly Murs - have failed to win the competition, though last year's winner James Arthur shifted almost 900,000 copies of his single Impossible in just three weeks.
Watch Leanne Mitchell's 'Run To You' Video:
The Amy Winehouse Foundation is preparing for its first major fundraising event. Sky News report that the organisation is gearing up for the Amy Winehouse Foundation Ball at the Dorchester Hotel.
Calling upon his daughter’s many contacts in the recording industry, Amy’s father Mitch Winehouse is helping to promote the event, which will feature performances from Jamie Cullum, Matt Goss and Amy’s friend (and former contestant on the Voice), Tyler James.
The money raised will be used to help disadvantaged young people; something that Mitch explained was very important to Amy. He recalls how he once asked Amy who a girl was, in her flat and Amy replied that the girl was homeless and that she was helping her out. She stayed with Amy for around six months.
Amy Winehouse’s headstone has finally been unveiled in Edgware, North London, and features the names of the singer’s closest family and friends. The Camden-based star’s collaborator Mark Ronson is mentioned, as is her soul singing goddaughter Dionne Bromfield.
The stone – inscribed with pink writing – carries a prominent tribute to Amy’s late grandmother Cynthia Levy, with the singer’s name featuring below. It reads, “Forever in the hearts of their devoted family”. The headstone also features a host of other colleagues and friends who were close to the singer, including manager Raye Cosbert, backing singers Zalon Thompson and Ade Omotayo and Dale Davis, her long-time bass player. Reg Traviss – her boyfriend at the time of her death – is mentioned, as is her best friend Tyler James, who most recently featured on the BBC singing contest The Voice. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Winehouse’s ex-husband Blake Fielder-Civil is conspicuous by his absence on the headstone.
The unveiling of the headstone comes as a new box-set ‘Amy Winehouse at the BBC’ was announced. Set to hit shelves on November 12, the package includes a total of four discs, three of which are compilations of live performances.
Date of birth
5th January, 1982
Happy birthday darling xxx https://t.co/h7rXLIlZXk
Blanket wrapped lying under the sky in the mids of new forest watching shooting stars!! This is the one ! :)
My girl , my world , my Amy X love you beyond darling xxx https://t.co/5iD4YrAsn8
Looks like fear won but I've never been so proud to be a Londoner. Chin up London X https://t.co/e7W1NnrrFH
Thankyou Azim xxx https://t.co/sO0o73mBId
Blissed out in Brunei :) big love Azim xxx https://t.co/kWMewWWBhs
Killing me softly
What a fucking song!!! @Adele !!! Adele - When We Were Young (Live at The Church) https://t.co/hNJGPInG2r
"Hello" ......Fucking epic xxx @Adele
To my darling Amy...happy birthday beautiful xxx Saying I miss you just don't cut it xxx http://t.co/pJqUPIlCav
Proper food . Too fucking 'appy! http://t.co/6iqoFZTIiK
Still absolutely beyond!!!!! @MsLaurynHill https://t.co/WtoIzaX0Xp
It still hurts darling xxx
RIP John Holt x please sing a song for my Nan up there x http://t.co/Rs8YYaWOae
BRUNEI you are the one!
To my darling,my world, my Amy x To the half of me that's missing.I cherish you my love,you lie forever in my heart x http://t.co/ccz4ThpvrW