The 1972 church concert by Aretha Franklin recently released in a documentary titled “Amazing Grace” on the big screen Is SO DIFFERENT. Clearly she is a mega star at this point in her career and she wanted to record a live album at her father’s gospel church in LA.
Unlike most documentaries, we learn little more about the star. She rarely talks…..she just sings, Sings and SINGS. A short, tight mini concert filmed over 2 day is directed by the late great Sidney Pollack. No doubt her death last year triggered the inertia to get this documentary public. - thank you
Why it is so different:
1) A monumental and emotional 87 minute film where we see the best selling gospel music Album of all time performed
2) She is quite unemotional in her few words and even on stage much less dramatic than we would expect today. But, boy is she feeling the music & church.
3) We learn the most about from her preacher father in the film which is a weird, detached sort of self-centered riff where he virtually makes no eye contact with her when speaking and no physical touch/embrace when going past her to the microphone...almost uncomfortable to the viewer.
Loved seeing the seemingly crude audio and video equipment used for the documentary. Unforgettable to see Mr. Pollack walk up near the stage to a picture on his dinosaur like Kodak camera with the 4 sided rotating flash cube.
In the film she is wonderfully supported by the Rev. James Cleveland and the Southern California Community Choir. Such a small and simple church setting to record such history. Fun youthful special fan in the audience from the Rolling Stones.
Lastly, the 10 minute title cut is iconic...SO RAW AND SO REAL…
..here is the audio link