film reel image

film reel image

Sunday, September 5, 2021

Bitchin': The Sound and Fury of Rick James 2021 * * * 1/2 Stars


Bitchin': The Sound and Fury of Rick James is my latest write-up. It's a documentary that projects like an artist's wiki page. No matter. You still slide on its slurp-y groove. "Sound and Fury" is long overdue for it's the first time we've seen a docu about James since 1998's E! True Hollywood Story. Rick James died in 2004 from cardiac failure (among other things). He was only 56 years old. 

So yeah, "Sound and Fury" tells the story of a singer-songwriter whose image and funked sound are forever frozen in time. Director Sacha Jenkins knows this and fashions James as a flawed human being with a touch of volatile genius and a sense of braided smut. "Give me that stuff that funky that sweet that funky stuff". Indeed. 

Bitchin': The Sound and Fury of Rick James provides the audience with genuine, off the cuff interviews and grainy nostalgic archive footage. At 111 minutes, you get a chronological snapshot of James from his birth in Buffalo, NY till his ultimate demise via LA's Toluca Hills apartments. The editing by Nicholas Pacchiano is lightning-quick while the overall experience of "Sound and Fury" gives you feelings of being agog and wistful. If only helmer Jenkins would've done away with the whole animation aspect (man I hate that stuff in on record flicks). 

All in all, "Sound and Fury" is the second best of its kind for this year (Tina about Tina Turner is a tad better). The docu omits Rick's relationship with Linda Blair but it also gave me insight into things I didn't know about James. I mean the dude actually hated hip-hop, he was a draft dodger, and he even used to jam with Neil Young and The Band (crazy). Dave Chappelle parodies him while Sacha Jenkins salutes him. Overall rating: 3.5 stars. 

Written by Jesse Burleson

No comments:

Post a Comment