Directors: Alan Elliott, Sydney Pollack
Stars: Aretha Franklin, Reverand James Cleveland, C.L. Franklin
Sun 16 Jun 7.30pm Book Now
Duration: 90 mins
AGE Rating: Cert U
A documentary presenting Aretha Franklin with choir at the New Bethel Baptist Church in Watts, Los Angeles in January 1972.
“This documentary, shot during recording sessions by the charismatic queen of soul in a Los Angeles church, is a transcendent joy.
There’s an oceanic swell of euphoria and joy in this extraordinary film, effectively a rediscovered concert movie showing the creation of Aretha Franklin’s gospel LP, Amazing Grace, recorded over two nights in 1972 in front of a live congregation and accompanied by the Southern California Community Choir. The concert was at the New Temple Missionary Baptist Church in Watts, Los Angeles, the interior being dominated by a vivid fresco of Christ’s baptism, a painting that by now might have almost pop-art status.
Sydney Pollack shot the original footage but the project had to be abandoned because sound and vision had not been properly synchronised. Only decades later has digital technology permitted this match-up to be achieved under the supervision of Alan Elliott.” The Guardian