Lightning In A Bottle (2004)

ANTOINE FUQUA

Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBB.  

USA, 2004.  , .  Cinematography by , .  Produced by , , .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Film Editing by , .  

Any music fan will enjoy this one, but blues fans will be especially bowled over by Antoine Fuqua’s beautifully assembled recording of the 100 year celebration of the blues performed live in New York City. Telling the story of the blues from the beginning, it begins with music inspired by African tradition before moving into songs of the Depression and onwards, all brought to life beautifully by a rich assortment of performers including , (try not to get shivers when she sings “Strange Fruit”), the phenomenal , , , , and, naturally, the grand finale, . Fuqua does a great job of incorporating story elements to tell tales of the blues, including material used during the actual concert as well as his own footage, but wisely keeps it brisk while focusing on the palpable energy of the performances. A wonderful entry in the rockdoc genre and an outstanding achievement by the director.

Toronto International Film Festival:  2004

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