If any artist deserved a hagiography it was Hendrix, and Joe Boyd's 1973 "authorised" tribute The Jimi Hendrix Story adequately sanctifies the legend. Perversely for a documentary, it achieves this simply by well-chosen concert footage rather than through the insights of the various talking heads. Pete Townshend, Eric Clapton, Mick Jagger, Lou Reed and Germaine Greer are all wheeled out to wax lyrical about their days with Jimi--but nothing is more eloquent than watching and listening to him play. From "Hey Joe" in grainy black and white on Ready Steady Go, classic... footage of Monterey, Woodstock (yes, "The Star-Spangled Banner") and the Isle of White festivals, to an acoustic 12-string rendition of "Hear My Train a' Comin'", Hendrix the musician speaks for himself. But if Hendrix the musician shines through, this is not the most insightful profile of Hendrix the man: the circumstances surrounding his death, for example, are hardly touched upon (girlfriend at the time Monika Dannemann gets only a few seconds screen time). Interview footage with Hendrix himself plus some occasionally rambling and incoherent comments from such intimates as his father, army buddies, ex-girlfriends (including Linda Keith, who "discovered" him in New York and brought him to England) and fellow musicians all take second place to the music itself. The most sensible quote comes from Little Richard, who proves once and for all that he's utterly bonkers, when he says of Jimi's music: "At times he made my big toes shoot up into my boot." On the DVD: This is a dual-layer disc, with a widescreen (1.85:1) print on one side and a standard (4:3) ratio version on the other--although watching in widescreen is redundant, as the film is shot in 4:3 anyway. There are no extras other than a theatrical trailer (despite being advertised as such a menu and scene access surely don't count as "special features": what use is a disc without them?) --Mark Walker [show more]
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