Friday, October 1, 2010

Wall of Unsound: The Agony and the Ecstasy of Phil Spector Opens Tonight at The Belcourt

Posted By on Fri, Oct 1, 2010 at 1:47 PM

So the above is something of an unconventional trailer, it seems. But hell, what do you know about Phil Spector to be conventional? Vikram Jayanti's documentary The Agony and the Ecstasy of Phil Spector begins its weeklong run at The Belcourt tonight; I received a screener and penned a review of Agony. An excerpt:

More a depiction of an egomaniacal pop guru's self-image than an analysis of the courtroom spectacle that was the Lana Clarkson murder trial, the documentary The Agony and the Ecstasy of Phil Spector heavily features one of only a handful of interviews Spector ever gave. In fact — other than courtroom footage and performance clips of Spector-produced songs from the '50s, '60s and '70s — the film almost exclusively sticks to the interview, which was conducted by director Vikram Jayanti and filmed in the legendary hit-maker's home.

Perched flaccidly in front of the piano he and John Lennon purchased for the recording of Imagine, Spector doesn't so much plead his innocence regarding Clarkson's murder as he pleads his own genius as a near-prescient, oft-maligned trendsetter.

Not a lot of analysis of the crime or the trial. There are, however, plenty of golden moments in which Spector claims his genius is equal to or greater than the genius of the following figures: Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Tony Bennett, Bob Dylan, Buddy Holly, Galileo. Worth seeing, if only for the jaw-dropping quotes.

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