Amy Revisited

(Welcome to Out of the Disney Vault, where we explore the unsung gems and forgotten disasters currently streaming on Disney+.)

The 1980s were a very rough time for the Walt Disney Company, at least in the first half of the decade. We may now think of the 1980s as the time when Michael Eisner and Jeffrey Katzenberg joined Disney, steering it to new heights with films like The Little Mermaid and with the expansion of the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida. And while that’s all true, the two men didn’t arrive until 1984. The first few years of the decade were a bumpy stretch, marked by minimal animated products and only a smattering of live-action films. The flip side is that the theme parks were moving onward, with the 1982 opening of EPCOT Center and the 1983 unveiling of Tokyo Disneyland.

But the side of the company focused on filmmaking seemed adrift at best. The 1981 film The Fox and the Hound, turning 40 this summer, does have its fans (and some impressive setpieces), but its production was mired by a huge walkout of young animators and a warring battle between the old guard of Disney animation and newer artists who wanted to steer the studio in new directions. Live-action fare wasn’t much more notable; cult films like Tron and Return to Oz are well-liked by fans precisely because they stand against so much of what we envision a “Disney movie” as.

The same is true for another film that celebrated its 40th anniversary this year, the 1981 melodrama Amy.

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/Filmcast Ep. 348 – The Top 10 Films of 2015

Top10

David, Devindra, and Jeff discuss their top 10 films of 2015. Thanks for a great year! Be sure to read up on Julie Bush’s Twitter rant about Steve Jobs, and about how your dish water will become valuable in the future.

You can always e-mail us at slashfilmcast(AT)gmail(DOT)com, or call and leave a voicemail at 781-583-1993. Also, like us on Facebook!
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Amy Winehouse documentary

The basics of Amy Winehouse’s brief life are familiar to many. She was a talented musician whose life spiraled out of control even as her career took off, resulting in her sudden death at the age of 27. But in his new documentary Amy, director Asif Kapadia digs past her tragic image to uncover the brilliant, complicated woman underneath. Watch the new Amy trailer after the jump.

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Amy Winehouse

This summer marks the fourth anniversary of musician Amy Winehouse‘s sudden death at the age of 27. It also brings the arrival of Amy, a documentary from Senna director Asif Kapadia.

In the first trailer, Kapadia lets the late soul singer speak for herself, via snippets of old interviews laid over old photographs and video clips. A spare rendition of Winehouse’s “Back to Black” plays over the same thing. Watch the Amy Winehouse documentary trailer after the jump.  Read More »