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3.0
10 Ratings

Enzo Avitabile Music Life

Directed by Jonathan Demme
Italy, United States, 2012
Documentary

Synopsis

The film on Enzo Avitabile, his music and Naples, emerges from the reciprocal esteem of two artists, and from the fact that Jonathan Demme for a long time has been aware of Avitabile’s music, a well known figure on the world music scene…

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Enzo Avitabile Music Life Directed by Jonathan Demme
In certain respects, non-fiction isn’t a good fit for [Demme]. The same generosity of spirit that informs his best work turns his docs… into mushy hagiographies. Enzo Avitabile Music Life, Demme’s awkwardly titled portrait of the celebrated Italian saxophonist and singer-songwriter, features enough music to be worthwhile for fans and curious newcomers, but it’s a snooze whenever Avitabile doesn’t have an instrument in his hand or a microphone in front of his face…
October 17, 2013
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After a remarkable trilogy of concert films with Neil Young, the latest music documentary from Jonathan Demme, “Enzo Avitabile Music Life,” turns the spotlight on the mushier notion of world music. Not that the sounds of all nations gathered by the Neapolitan musician and groove ambassador Enzo Avitabile, the film’s focus, don’t have soul. But the fuzziness of Mr. Avitabile’s sentiments on boundary-blind unity is echoed in the movie’s slack, tag-along portraiture.
October 17, 2013
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Even if the film never transcends its subject matter, Demme’s light touch adds up to a charming portrait, only rarely fumbling into hagiography. Its lowest point sees Avitabile scatting a poem patterned off of Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech before a symphony orchestra, jarringly intercut with zoomed-in digital footage of a draped black corpse and its surrounding crime scene.
October 16, 2013
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