Tag Archives: Morgan Neville

20 Feet From Stardom Movie Review

Featuring: Darlene Love, Merry Clayton, Judith Hill, Claudia Lennear, Lisa Fischer, Táta Vega, The Waters
Director: Morgan Neville
Website: twentyfeetfromstardom.com/
Australian release date: Perth Lotterywest Film Festival 2013-14:
Somerville (9–15 Dec, 8pm);
Joondalup Pines (17–22 Dec, 8pm)

Reviewer: rolanstein
Verdict: Illuminating, enthralling, incredibly moving – GO!

The film opens with Lou’s Walk On The Wild Side, the chorus of “coloured girls” going “doo-da-doo-da-doo-da-doo-da-doo” brought right up in the mix as the song ends, pressing in from all sides as if spirited through the dark pines that enclose the Somerville outdoor cinema. It’s a perfect choice of music and a nice touch to promote the backup vocals to the forefront. Tonight, the spotlight is on those who have spent their careers outside it. Tonight, they are the stars.

We learn that once there were only white female backup vocalists who read their parts off music sheets. These girls were professional, hit the notes, knew their stuff – but were limited to the lines they were fed, and the sound they put out was inevitably twee. When the black backup singers emerged, they changed everything. No more music sheets. They sang straight from the heart, working intuitively with gospel-derived harmonies (many were the daughters of preachers). Pop music had discovered its soul! Continue reading 20 Feet From Stardom Movie Review