Am I suppose to take this film seriously? If so, where can I begin?
Director Robert Mugge and narrator Robert Palmer do injustice to the artists presented in this film. Granted the fashion trends (ie jheri curls) of the late 80's and early 90's did little justice to anyone, but there are some scenes that obviously have racist undertones to them. I feel that these undertones are subtle, but they reflect the makers of the film's attitude and presumptions about "African American" Culture. Plus Robert Palmer freaks viewers out by his presence on screen. He first appears on screen in a Trench coat as if he is going to flash someone. His voice overs were perhaps a highlight in the film. In retrospect, he actually had some interesting things to say.
In all honesty this film is just bad! It is enough proof when one of the original narrators/ producer, David A. Stewart, walks out midway through the film. To make matters worse, the director attempts to "play it off" by having the two bid each other farewell and actually put it in the film. If someone leaves in the middle of filming, take them out completely! Apparently Stewart helps behind the scenes, but to viewers it seems like the guy leaves the project all together.
As far as the musicians and the music is concerned, the performances were decent. However, I feel that some of the musicians presented were "fillers" for the more important musicians presented later on in the film. I actually liked Roosevelt "Booba" Barnes' second performance. However, they made him seem like he was coked out of his mind. Furthermore, the interview with him and the Mayor of the town was SO FAKE. It was offensive that this was added to the film. I have anxiety attacks just thinking about it.
While watching this film, I kept asking myself, "is this a joke". The film started out ok, but once Stewart walked out, I realized the film had no hope. Although the film ended with a wonderful cover of some of Robert Johnson's popular songs, the film left me Deeply Blue that I actually spent money to view this film.