film reel image

film reel image

Thursday, May 25, 2023

Love to Love You, Donna Summer 2023 * * 1/2 Stars


As a kid born in the 70s and growing up in the 80s, there wasn't a time where I didn't hear a Donna Summer jam blaring on the radio in my parents car. Summer was the "Queen of Disco", the bad mama jama, her songs innovative and bumping, her moves sexy, her singing voice easily recognizable. Love to Love You, Donna Summer is a documentary about Donna's life that was cut short at the age of 63. "Let's dance this last dance tonight". Indeed.

At a running time of 107 minutes, "Love to Love You" guides you on a trip of hypnotic archive footage, home videos, and lively Summer performances that pretty much encapsulate the entire film. Director Roger Ross Williams, well he thinks in cuts, whisking you from one grainy frame to the next. His storytelling pertaining to Summer's journey is chronological yet sporadic, his imagery dreamy yet way too present. Love to Love You, Donna Summer while stimulating, ends abruptly, teetering on the edge of the unknown (or mildly known). As Summer sang in 1978, "heaven knows it's not the way it could be". 

With "Love to Love You", the people being interviewed (Summer's husband, ex-husband, children, etc.) are people you never see. And with Summer being questioned herself, there's only snapshots of what she's thinking, it's all so ephemeral. Sure this docu is fun to look at and sure, who doesn't want to hear Summer kick the ballistics with tunes like "Last Dance", "Bad Girls", and "Hot Stuff". Nevertheless, Love to Love You, Donna Summer keeps the viewer at a weird sort of distance. It may tell you stuff about disco's pioneer that you didn't already know but at the same time, there's not enough Summer deets to burn both ends of the bass beat candle. I needed to "feel more love". 

Written by Jesse Burleson

No comments:

Post a Comment