Amy Winehouse Film

Here is a quick post linking to my piece on about the new film by Asif Kapadia about the life of Amy Winehouse. . I went to a special screening of the film in London where the director Asif Kapadia, the producer James Gay-Rees and Nick Shymansky, who was part of Amy’s original management team, were present and who talked about the film, why they made it and answered questions afterwards.


I met Amy Winehouse several times from 2005 onwards. The first was in the dressing room at the Jazz cafe in Camden which is the part of London where Amy lived, and she was nervous but bubbly before joining a backing band to sing a couple of numbers by Stevie Wonder as part of a tribute show. On that night she was accompanied by one of her girl friends  and had not ben dragged down by some of the junkies in the Camden scene. she used to drink and play pool a lot in a pub called the Good Mixer, which had been known in the past as the pub where the Pogues used to hang out. I lived in Camden for a short time in Camden Square which is the road where Amy died. I moved away from that area when I was trying to change the direction of my life.

A few months later I was invited to a showcase gig in Brighton at the Concord club and was shocked to see how thin she looked and how her whole image had changed. She was now with Blake and was drinking heavily and taking drugs. The gig was good and was before the Rehab song had been released that made her famous. She then became a target for the press and things went downhill from there.

The film is well paced and really well-edited. It is constructed from narrative recorded in intimate audio interviews and supported by archive video and stills. Her lyrics are on the screen when she sings and you can see how she used her own experiences in life to write about.


Her decline into serious addiction is dealt with in  a sensitive manner by the film makers, and you can see where the people  she relied on did not do a good job of supporting her. She needed help before her second album came out but was put on the road to make money, and had to deal with a huge amount of intrusive media publicity.

Read the whole piece here



Leave a Reply

You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>