Richard’s Pick: Amazing Grace – May 29 & 30 @ 1:30 & 7pm
Hidden from view for almost fifty years, “Amazing Grace,” the documentary of Aretha Franklin’s remarkable two night stand at the New Temple Missionary Baptist Church in Los Angeles, is a making-of look at the recording of the singer’s soul-stirring gospel album of the same name.
Director Sydney Pollack shot twenty hours of footage but failed to use clapper boards at the beginning of each song. Later, in the editing room, technicians were unable to synchronize the sound. Decades later producer Alan Elliott’s team spent two years synching sound to image, completing the film two years after Pollack’s death. Franklin then sued Elliott for using her likeness without permission and the film was delayed even further. Now, a full forty-seven years since those legendary shows the film is on the big screen. It was worth the wait. We see Franklin standing behind the preacher’s podium, sweating, singing some of the most glorious spirituals ever committed to tape. It is a document of a time, a place and most importantly, of a voice that sounds truly heaven sent.