Posted Feb 05 2016

Janis: Little Girl Blue - This Girl's Doc Rocks

Dir: Amy Berg

Starring Janis Joplin, Big Brother, The Holding Company, Dick Cavett

Despite her prominent position as one of the founding members of the “27 Club,” alongside Jim and Jimi, Janis Joplin has been less celebrated than her contemporary tragedies. Berg’s movie sets out to redress that balance, and does so to a good degree, courtesy of much rare footage and – most importantly – Joplin’s own words.

Mixing readings of letters and messages with archive material, concert footage and family and band mates recollection, Berg creates a loving portrait of the woman whose life was nearly as raw as her voice. Berg interestingly focuses on Joplin’s image issues early on, something rarely expressed in such terms in those times, her open and fluid sexuality, her relationship with Big Brother and the Holding Company (whom she left behind) and, of course, her penchant for addictive substances (and people.)  More than anything, it delivers a real sense of Janis as both a person, and a remarkable performer, something that emphasises the tragedy of her early passing.

Makes for an interesting companion piece with Asif Kapadia’s Amy, the latest member of the 27 Club. Also makes you want to watch Monterey Pop again right away.


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