Monday, June 10, 2024

1-800- ON HER OWN (2024) Tribeca (2024)

A weirdly refreshing warts and all look at singer, songwriter, business woman, actress and multiple things I’m leaving out, Ani Di Franco as she goes out on tour and makes music with friends.

I need to see this film again, but this quite possibly be one of the best artist docs I’ve ever run across.  This is DiFranco traveling, doing business, talking to the family, making music and bone tired.  Intercut with the current footage are lots of old footage which is so masterfully put together  that it all seems absolutely current. Anything that is remotely talking head like is blended into to the conversation and acts more as a Greek Chorus that fills in details as to who certain people are or details we aren’t getting from the documentary footage.

What is truly surprising is that this film is firmly about DiFranco. This isn’t about the music, meaning this isn’t a film where you’re waiting for the story of the next song. Yes there is music, but mostly this is DiFranco’s life. She opens it up and we go with her. The music is there as it is in her life. Best of all it’s her life as she is living it. It’s not a series of sit downs but conversations as she travels, waits or makes music.

It’s hypnotic and it kind of puts to shame the carefully crafted music docs that are an artists victory lap. This is instead life on the road.

If there is anything missing it’s a better sense of her family life. Her husband and kids are on the other end of a phone so there is only a fleeting sense of that part of her life.  Frankly the film doesn’t need it, and it doesn’t realy belong because this is life on tour and being voices on a phone is what they are to Defranco.

This is great filmmaking.

Recommended, more so if you are fan.

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