Tag Archives: Lorraine Ali

Review ‘Janis: Little Girl Blue’ reveals what drove — and haunted — Janis Joplin

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Story is from LATimes.Com
By Lorraine Ali – Contact Reporter

Photo from the movie JANIS: LITTLE GIRL BLUE. American singer-songwriter Janis Joplin (1943 – 1970) with her 1965 Porsche 356C Cabriolet, circa 1969. The car features a psychedelic paint job by Joplin’s roadie, Dave Richards. (Photo by RB/Redferns) (RB / Redferns/Getty Images)

It’s hard to imagine in the age of Taylor, Miley and Rihanna, where airbrushed looks are paramount and rebellion is curated, that an artist like Janis Joplin was ever allowed to happen.

Imperfect and messy, she was a white girl who sang the blues, a wily independent figure who predated equal rights, an artist brave enough to lay herself bare in song then pay the ultimate price for that fearlessness.

Joplin’s name alone now serves as shorthand for a countercultural music revolution. But unlike her equally revered peers such as Dylan and Hendrix, whose life stories have been milked incessantly by filmmakers, biographers, rock historians and T-shirt franchises, there’s mystery as to who the woman behind that voice really was.

“Janis: Little Girl Blue,” out in limited release Friday, is the rare documentary that focuses solely on the life of the late singer as opposed to the role she played in making the Summer of Love, the Haight-Ashbury scene or Woodstock a precious memory for boomers.

Oscar-nominated director Amy Berg (“Deliver Us From Evil”) paints an intimate portrait of a woman shaped by her early years as a bullied outcast in Port Arthur, Texas. Though later celebrated for her inability to be like the other girls, Joplin never entirely overcame that early rejection, and her need for acceptance is a central theme throughout “Little Girl Blue.”

As the documentary shows, Joplin fought relentlessly to be herself — a rowdy and adventurous woman who literally belted out her rage, sorrow and happiness on a world stage while simultaneously asking the world to do what her classmates, parents and neighbors never could: love her for who she was. Continue reading