Release Date: 1/13/15 (DVD); 1/17/14 (Sundance Film Festival)
Running Time: 78 mins.
Director: Tim Sutton
Cast: Willis Earl Beal, Constance Brantley, Larry Dodson, Devonte Hull, Lopaka Thomas.
Story: A strange singer with God-given talent drifts through his adopted city of Memphis with its canopy of ancient oak trees, streets of shattered windows, and aura of burning spirituality. Surrounded by beautiful women, legendary musicians, a stone-cold hustler, a righteous preacher, and a wolf pack of kids, the sweet, yet unstable, performer avoids the recording studio, driven by his own form of self-discovery. His journey quickly drags him from love and happiness right to the edge of another dimension.
Details: According to Matt Zoller Seitz of Rogerebert.com, Memphis is a quasi-documentary drama about the creative struggles of Memphis blues musician and poet Willis Earl Beal, who’s playing a version of himself here. Beal is a superficially compelling character, in his passive and medicated way. He seems to be blocked. His label wants him to finish his new album but he seems to have fallen down a sort of tinkering spiral, endlessly reworking his work. Is he a perfectionist, or is he procrastinating? When his bandmates press him for more specific directions and grow irritated by his vagueness, are we seeing a misunderstood genius struggle to make himself understood by lesser talents, or a man whose gifts don’t really match his mystique? Read the full review here: http://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/memphis-2014
Source(s): IMDB, rogerebert.com.