Do you love Jimi Hendrix? Excited about seeing a film focusing on the years of 1966-1967 just as Hendrix was about to hit super stardom? Sounds great, right? Well what if they took away the music? Still interested but less so I would say. That’s how I felt upon watching the film “Jimi” All Is My My Side”
It’s an intriguing story of a brilliant guitarist who’s happy enough being a session player and the people in his life that recognized this amazing talent and put him in his rightful place in the spotlight. The huge part missing from the film is the music, there is talk of his album but no mention of it by name nor any song titles nor stories of inspiration from which “Are You Experienced” was created.
I can admire director and screenwriter John Ridley’ attempt to create a unique perspective for this film. I loved Todd Haynes film about Bob Dylan called “I’m Not There” and his unique take on a story many people already know. I think the public is tired of the music film re-creation as evidenced by the James Brown film disappearing from theatres shortly after its release. Andre Benjamin nails Jimi’s speech cadence down perfectly and he was an inspired choice to play Hendrix but hearing Waddy Wachtel (as good as he is) play the guitar parts, was just not the same.
Because this is not an official biography, the filmmakers took some liberties in the story. For example, Jimi Hendrix biographer Charles Cross disputes the part in the story of Jimi hitting his girlfriend. For the record, Charles hated the movie.
This film is garnering positive reviews but without the songs, I don’t think it’s going to get the younger generation to start streaming his music.
Since you can’t hear the music in the film, here’s a song and a reminder of Jimi’s insanely beautiful talent. The film comes out on September 26.
Fun fact: For inspriation Andre Benjamin came upon the idea that Jimi Hendrix spook similarly to cartoon icon, Snagglepuss. Judge for yourself. First Jimi with a snippet from a Dick Cavett inverview and then Snagglepuss.