CANNES WATCH: Winehouse documentary shows fame’s dark side

May 16, 2015, 2:18 PM
Video editor Chris King and director Asif Kapadia pose for photographers during a photo call for th...
Video editor Chris King and director Asif Kapadia pose for photographers during a photo call for the film Amy, at the 68th international film festival, Cannes, southern France, Saturday, May 16, 2015. (AP Photo/Lionel Cironneau)
(AP Photo/Lionel Cironneau)

CANNES, France (AP) — Celebrity-worshipping Cannes got a sobering reminder of fame’s dark side Saturday with “Amy,” a powerful documentary about the late singer Amy Winehouse.

“I don’t think I’m going to be at all famous,” a teenage Winehouse says at one point in the film by British director Asif Kapadia. “I don’t think I could handle it.”

Winehouse was a global celebrity when she died in July 2011 of accidental alcohol poisoning at age 27.

The sense that the singer foresaw her fate lends extra poignancy to the film, which is getting its world premiere at a Cannes midnight screening.

Musician Yasmin Bey, formerly known as Mos Def, performed at a party before the premiere, along with jazz singer Gregory Porter and new artist Cosmina.

Bey called Winehouse a “dear friend” and “one of the realest” people he had ever met.

“I’m doing the songs that Amy never heard but I know she would like,” said Bey, who sprinkled rose petals on the floor in her honor. “This one’s for you baby girl.”

Kapadia, who made the acclaimed documentary “Senna” about Formula 1 driver Ayrton Senna — another star who died young — interviewed 80 of Winehouse’s friends, family and collaborators for the film, layering their words over footage of the musician from childhood onwards.

Winehouse emerges as a vibrant personality whose soulful voice and intensely personal lyrics made her a star, but whose struggles with depression, bulimia, drugs and alcohol were worsened by the pressures of sudden fame.

Some journalists at a press screening shuffled uncomfortably in their seats at the sight of the media frenzy that surrounded Winehouse after her second album, “Back to Black,” made her a star — and her erratic behavior made her tabloid news.

Winehouse’s parents appear in the film, which is due for release in the U.S. in July. But they have also recently criticized it, calling it “unbalanced” and saying it suggests family members did too little to help the singer overcome her addictions. A family spokesman said Winehouse’s parents did not plan to attend Saturday’s premiere.

But no one emerges as an outright villain in the film, which shows how people who cared about Winehouse tried, and failed, to curb her demons.

One of the final shots is of Tony Bennett ranking Winehouse in the pantheon of singers alongside Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday. It’s a moving end to a sad, cautionary tale.

–By Jill Lawless, http://Twitter.com/JillLawless

Nekesa Mumbi Moody contributed to this report.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

World News

Ukrainian servicemen carry the coffin with the remains of Army Col. Oleksander Makhachek during a f...
Associated Press

As Ukraine loses troops, how long can it keep up the fight?

ZHYTOMYR (AP) — As soon as they had finished burying a veteran colonel killed by Russian shelling, the cemetery workers readied the next hole. Inevitably, given how quickly death is felling Ukrainian troops on the front lines, the empty grave won’t stay that way for long. Col. Oleksandr Makhachek left behind a widow, Elena, and […]
26 days ago
(Instagram photo/@Clayton.Wolfe)...
Wills Rice

Arizona realtor announces new listing on ‘the top-floor’ of Mount Everest

Arizona realtor Clayton Wolfe scaled the treacherous 29,035-foot heights of Mount Everest in Nepal and announced a new listing at the summit.
27 days ago
(Photo by: Jonathan Wiggs/Boston Globe/Getty Images)...
Associated Press

‘Tiger King’ star ‘Doc’ Antle arrested for money laundering charges

“Tiger King” star “Doc” Antle was arrested by the FBI and expected to appear in court Monday to face federal money laundering charges.
27 days ago
(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)...
Associated Press

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey in Israel for talks with political and business leaders

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey is in Israel for five days of talks with political and business leaders of the Middle Eastern country.
1 month ago
A man rides a bicycle in front of a building ruined by shelling in Borodyanka, on the outskirts of ...
Associated Press

Russia takes steps to bolster army, tighten grip on Ukraine

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin issued an order Wednesday to fast track Russian citizenship for residents of parts of southern Ukraine largely held by his forces, while lawmakers in Moscow passed a bill to strengthen the stretched Russian army. Putin’s decree applying to the Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions could allow Russia to […]
1 month ago
FILE - McDonald's restaurant is seen in the center of Dmitrov, a Russian town 75 km., (47 miles) no...
Associated Press

De-Arching: McDonald’s to sell Russia business, exit country

McDonald’s is closing its doors in Russia, ending an era of optimism and increasing the country’s isolation over its war in Ukraine. The Chicago burger giant confirmed Monday that it is selling its 850 restaurants in Russia. McDonald’s said it will seek a buyer who will employ its 62,000 workers in Russia, and will continue […]
2 months ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Dr. Richard Carmona

Great news: Children under 5 can now get COVID-19 vaccine

After more than two years of battle with an invisible killer, we can now vaccinate the youngest among us against COVID-19. This is great news.
(Courtesy Condor)...
Condor Airlines

Condor Airlines shows passion for destinations from Sky Harbor with new-look aircraft

Condor Airlines brings passion to each flight and connects people to their dream destinations throughout the world.
...
Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

Vaccines are safe if you are pregnant or breastfeeding

Are you pregnant? Do you have a friend or loved one who’s expecting?
CANNES WATCH: Winehouse documentary shows fame’s dark side