A proud member of the production team, these last two months would have been my busiest if not for the pandemic outburst and postponing of our festival.
My role is essentially making sure everything runs smoothly at all times and that guests and audiences are always happy. I started as a volunteer in the first edition of our festival, mainly at the ticketbox. I already was a fan of the IN-EDIT concept from when I was living in Greece (it happens in 2 cities there each year) and I was very surprised that this festival was not happening yet in Amsterdam, a city with such vibrant music scene. I loved the festival and the people here so much that I would be the first person to come in and last to go after the parties each night. Maybe that’s what the team saw and decided to trust me with more responsibilities in the next edition when I was in charge of our online fanzine. This year we took our collaboration to the next level and I couldn’t be happier about working for a whole year with such a wonderful team of outstanding individuals and friends.
Without further ado, here are my 3 (+1 short) favourite music documentaries.
Grace Jones: Bloodlight and Bami (2017) director: Sophie Fiennes
Miss Grace Jones has always been my ultimate favourite pop icon, more like a goddess really. So it’s only natural that I would love any documentary about her. In this case, I was blessed with such an enjoyable and well-made piece of cinema that I cannot recommend enough. We get to see all sides of this incredible human being, the sensitive artist, the professional, the fiery performer, the mother and the daughter, the proud Jamaican, the restless spirit, the beautiful soul, the woman. All done through the respectful yet truthful lens of a female director, who seems to share the same sensitivities. I cannot stop myself from getting goosebumps every 5 minutes of this documentary. In a way, seeing her everyday down-to-earth self-made me appreciate miss Jones even more as a performer. And to make it even more personal, this was the opening film of the first edition of our IN-EDIT, and one of the reasons I decided to volunteer that year!
Madonna: Truth or Dare (1991) director: Alek Keshishian
Madonna’s “Blond Ambition” world tour in 1990 is an iconic moment for pop, fashion, and queer culture. Seeing that within the context of what Madonna was becoming in that moment as a person is so interesting to watch. The more personal moments in the documentary can often feel uncomfortably staged, but in my mind, that’s just the extravagant and theatrical persona of the pop icon. Plus, the film is just so aesthetically pleasing, that it wouldn’t bother me even if I knew that it was a little bit staged. Being born in 1991, watching this documentary helped me understand a bit better what a world phenomenon Madonna will forever be and how artists like her paved the way for the generations to come, pushing the boundaries of live performance and delivering high-value stage productions. This film is perfect to watch as a warm-up to the actual Blond Ambition World Tour Live.
20 Feet from Stardom (2013) director: Morgan Neville
This documentary to me is quintessential IN-EDIT, bringing a powerful story (or stories in this case) from the backstage to light. Literally. Because when you think of music documentaries you tend to think about a biography of a great artist or the chronicles of a historical music event. The fact that someone thought about making a film about the backup singers of the bands we love is by itself so intriguing. These power-women who are blessed with such incredible voices and all the qualities that can make a star, yet they are singing behind the person who’s on the spotlight, standing somewhere in the background. I particularly love the story of Lisa Fischer, who won a Grammy as a solo artist back in 1992 but has also been the backup singer of The Rolling Stones for the last 30 years, who at some point in the film says: “Some people will do anything to be famous. I just wanted to sing.” This phrase sums up the whole film to me in such a beautiful and touching way.
+Bonus short doc:
Our Stolen Circus (2013) directors: Christos Panagos and Kostas Makrinos
Active Member, one of the most important hip-hop artists in Greece, are always touching upon political and social matters. Their lyrics can often turn into a philosophical discussion and if you read them out loud without an underlying beat, they can become a beautiful piece of street poetry. “Our Great Circus” was a satirical play that first premiered in Athens in October 1973 only to be put down by the Greek Junta, the far-right military dictatorship of the time, leading to arrests of the main crew. 40 years later, B.D Foxmoor of Active Member decides to tour his own “Stolen Circus”, inspired by the aftermath of the political situation of these past years in Greece. This short documentary follows the band in different cities while B.D. talks about the idea behind the record and the conscious choices that go with it.