AMAZING GRACE

USA | 2018 | COLOR | 87 MIN. | ENGLISH

REVIEW —

 

Created from never-before-seen footage originally shot in 1972, Amazing Grace documents the recording of queen of soul, Aretha Franklin’s seminal and acclaimed gospel album of the same name. Oscar winning, unpredictable and auteur director Sidney Pollack (Out of Africa, Tootsie) filmed Franklin’s live recording over 2 nights at the New Temple Missionary Baptist Church in Watts, Los Angeles – home to the gospel legend Reverend James Cleveland. Pollack’s film was eventually abandoned after an issue with syncing the sound prevented its release. Now, over 46 years later, digital technology has made it possible to match sound to picture, giving Pollack’s long-lost film a new life. Sidney Pollack’s Amazing Grace cinematically captures Aretha Franklin’s virtuosic performance, which pulses with emotion, conviction, and awe-inspiring power.

Review by:   Bruni Burres

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DIRECTORS —

Alan Elliot | 1964

Sydney Pollack

Alan Elliot is a musician who teaches composition at UCLA. As a music lover, Alan was given the task of rescuing the footage of a Sydney Pollack film, which captured the realization of the concert that led to Amazing Grace, the live album that Aretha Franklin, the queen of soul, recorded at the New Temple Missionary Baptist Church in 1972. When Pollack (1934-2008) faced the recording of the concert, he was inexperienced in recording musical events, and

Screenplay:
Producer: Alan Elliot, Spike Lee
Production Company: 40 Acres & A Mule Filmworks, Al’s Records And Tapes, Rampant
Cinematography:
Edition: Jeff Buchanan
Music:
Sound: Serge Perron
Cast: Aretha Franklin, James Cleveland