Last Friday evening, two girlfriends and I went to see the new documentary release about singer Grace Jones, which was followed by a live Q & A from Norway with the Director.
Called Bloodlight and Bami, filmed and edited over 5 years by Sophie Fiennes, it was certainly different. Non-linear, following Grace on a visit home to confront family skeletons in Jamaica, interspersed with incredible live concert footage, and viewed from a ‘fly on the wall’ perspective, it was fascinating.
Plus a bit annoying.
Sometimes the sound was too muffled, or I just wanted someone to sit down facing the camera directly, keep still, and tell me exactly what was going on.
But that’s not Grace is it? Nor the way she lived/lives her life; this 1-minute film trailer gives you a taste of the docos style.
I absolutely loved Grace Jones as I grew up in England, with her background of reggae and punk combining with in-yer-face attitude and androgynous daring: such a contrast to my quiet, small, skinny, serious white girl reality.
I knew some of her troubles, but not the full extent, and this film made me want to read the accompanying biography. I saw her live in Sydney many years ago at a big New Year’s Eve party at Hordern Pavilion; she came on stage 2 hours late, clearly off her brain somehow, and writhed around on a huge black leather chair for 20 minutes before stalking off never to be seen again… the documentary gave me some insight into perhaps why.
She’s going to be 70 in May, and the film was shot between 2005 and 2009; she looks AMAZING. And fierce! One long scene shot inside an expensive hotel bathroom shows her ongoing struggle against tour operators/producers, and gave me the perfect quote for the title of this post, as we 3 drove home in the tropical rain, reflecting on her tale.
In gratitude for iconic music and music makers, even if some of them don’t answer their phone or turn up at the recording sessions till late, G xO