Coming to DVD today, Tuesday, August 14:
GRACE JONES: BLOODLIGHT AND BAMI
CPH:DOX, Zurich, Vienna, Rio, Adelaide, Antenna Doc, Docaviv, Docs Against Gravity, Doclisboa, Image + Nation, Bahamas, Indie Memphis, Florida, Sarasota, Montclair
An impressionistic portrait of the iconic performer.
Filmed over the course of a decade, Fiennes profile of Grace Jones is not a standard, retrospective music biography. It’s not restrospective at all, save for the singer’s occasional memories of growing up in Jamaica, shared with family members on a visit back home. Instead, the director captures Jones in the moment over the years of filming, demonstrating her still active career, from working in the recording studio and going on photo shoots, to demonstrating that she is still the consummate diva in tense phone call standoffs with her manager over contract details. Interwoven with these scenes from her work are more personal sequences, including the previously noted Jamaican family trip, and, of course, concert footage showing off her singing and indelible stage presence – not to mention her always-extravagant headwear. Fiennes’ film feels very much for the devoted Jones’ fan, providing virtually no context and absolutely no historical background, and, at nearly two hours, threatens to overstay its welcome given its discursive approach, but is just about saved by the strength of her subject’s presence.