Monday, August 3, 2015

Amy: The Movie



I finally saw the cautionary tale that is Amy: The Movie. (Spoiler Alert: I sobbed through the entire second half.) 

The movie shows like chronologically ordered liner notes of Amy Winehouse's music and her life, but you realize early on that these things are one and the same. Unlike most popstars, which she points out in the film- typically sing lyrics written for them, Amy wrote her own lyrics and wrote only about her actual life. I quickly regretted every rehab joke I'd made about her and having dressed up as her for Halloween after she died.

With deep seated issues with men, stemming from the demise of her parent's marriage when she was 9 years old, to the disappointment of realizing she wore the pants in her first adult relationship- Amy pours out her hear in each song.

 "Once he was a family man
So surely I would never, ever go through it first hand 
I can't help but demonstrate
my Freudian fate" 
-What is it About Men, 2003

But why couldn't anyone hear her? We literally only listened to her music and never to Amy. Not when as a teenager she told both her parents about her bulimia and, as they fully admit in the film, they figured she'd grow out of it - but that is NOT something you outgrow. No one listened when she vowed to follow her lover down into the depths of despair in her song "Some Unholy War".

"I refuse to let him go
at his side...we wait for the blow.
And who you dying for
B- I would have died too.
I would have liked to." 
 -Some Unholy War, 2006

The film is haunting- literally - amateur video of a then amateur songstress, voiced over by interviews from those closest to her on her rise to fame. Interspersed with voicemails from the singer where she says eerily foreshadowing things like "I'll love you until the last breath leaves my body."

I was surprised by how candid her posse was in admitting where they had failed Amy; and at the same time how complicit they had been in her downfall.

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