The Film Comment Podcast: Amazing Grace and the Concert Film
From Woodstock to Stop Making Sense to Madonna: Truth or Dare, the concert film provides an up-close-and-personal—and otherwise unattainable—perspective on performance and performer. In the new issue of Film Comment, out now, contributor Andrew Chan digs into the long-awaited 1972 Aretha Franklin concert film Amazing Grace, finally released in 2018 after years of legal wrangling and building anticipation. The wait was well worth it, as the Sydney Pollack-directed film documents Aretha’s transcendent gospel and R&B and provides (as Chan writes) “access to the woman behind the microphone while at the same time radiating a ghostly effect that’s impossible to shake.” For the latest Film Comment Podcast, Nicolas Rapold sat down with Chan, who is also web editor at The Criterion Collection, and Film Comment contributor and Rogerebert.com critic Sheila O’Malley to discuss Amazing Grace and three other specially selected concert films: The T.A.M.I. Show, Sign o’ the Times, and Can’s 1972 Free Concert.
Nicolas Rapold is the editor-in-chief of Film Comment and hosts The Film Comment Podcast.