Okay, pardon me for getting uncharacteristically serious for a moment.
So I saw the Amy Winehouse documentary over the weekend. Short version: It's great, go see it, the music is incredible, blah blah blah.
And yes, it raises all sorts of issues that I frankly don't have the energy to write about at length.
That said -- here's the thing that truly flummoxes me.
On every level, the story Amy is telling is beyond cliche. I mean, from the first frames on screen, it's practically a parody of any Road to Ruin book or film or Behind the Music episode you've ever encountered. Doesn't miss a pathetic trick, from the whole "if only she had been loved" to the "this was a person trying to disappear" voice-over. And the fact that it's all true just makes your jaw drop at the utter predictability of the thing.
That said -- and please don't think I'm being insensitive here -- what makes Amy a little different from most other exemplars of its genre is that Winehouse came of age in a period when everybody's life was being obsessively documented on film or on video. In the case of Winehouse, the filmmakers had access to live footage of her starting practically before she was even Bat Mitzvahed. This is kind of unprecedented when you think of it.
And THAT is why I'm scratching my head. I mean, one of the things -- besides her prodigious talent -- the film makes clear is that yes, Winehouse was genuinely fucked up, but also that she was absolutely whip smart as well.
So how, in Jeebus' name, could she have watched the footage of her life unfolding in front of her video monitor in real time for close to a decade and not thought to herself -- Jeebus fuck, I've seen this stupid, made-for-TV admittedly tragic but ultimately pointless, movie before?
Words, as they often do, fail me.
Meanwhile, here's a performance clip of Winehouse at her peak that didn't make the movie.
God, she was amazing.