This week’s Movies You Have Not Seen But Should is no backup; don’t miss it!
20 Feet From Stardom
Welcome back to Movies You Have Not Seen But Should. For this week’s installment, we will take a look at the 2013 documentary 20 Feet From Stardom.
The film features several singers who were the “backup singers” for many of the biggest artists in the music industry. It is a history lesson in the rise of pop music in the U.S. from the 1950s all the way to today. The point of view in this feature is from the backup singer. Many of these artists were as talented (if not more talented) than the featured artist. However, due to varying circumstances, they never received the fame or recognition that the headliners did.
Among the highlighted backup singers in the film are Darlene Love, Merry Clayton and Judith Hill. Love was a backup singer and part of the group The Blossoms. She worked with artists such as Sam Cooke, The Beach Boys, Dionne Warwick, Elvis Presley, Tom Jones and Sonny and Cher. Clayton worked with several artists, including Neil Young, the Rolling Stones, Tom Jones, Linda Ronstadt and Lynyrd Skynyrd. Hill has worked with Michael Jackson, Josh Groban, Elton John and Stevie Wonder, and was later a contestant on the TV show The Voice. Sheryl Crow, Mick Jagger, Bette Midler, Bruce Springsteen, Sting, and Stevie Wonder were also interviewed for the documentary.
The film was directed by Morgan Neville. Neville has made several music documentaries including Muddy Waters: Can’t Be Satisfied, Respect Yourself: The Stax Records Story, and Johnny Cash’s America. Each of these films was nominated for a Grammy. 20 Feet From Stardom premiered at the Sundance Film Festival on January 17, 2013, and had a limited theatrical U.S. release on June 14, 2013. It received a 99% freshness rating on Rotten Tomatoes and 83 Metacritic score. It went on to win the Oscar for Best Documentary at the 2014 Academy Awards.
20 Feet From Stardom is available on Blu-Ray, DVD, Netflix Instant Streaming and Amazon Instant Streaming. If you’re a fan of music or great documentaries, you’ll love this film. It’s one that you may not have seen, but you should.