With a new biopic, simply entitled Nina, which features Mary J. Blige, scheduled to be released in 2012, it seems many more persons will become aware of Nina Simone. Her sultry voice and plaintive lyricism has long been very compelling, particularly Sinnerman, which has been used repeatedly in films, ranging from The Thomas Crown Affair (1999) to Inland Empire (2006). There was even a remix used in Miami Vice (2006). But, alas, it is her mesmerizing concert performances that should be getting more play, such as this early performance of Mississippi Goddam, available in the Jazz Icons series.
Needless to say, Nina Simone hasn’t been given her due on films. Her music has largely been uncredited and pitches up in the most unlikely of places, such as Point of No Return (1993) and I Love You Phillip Morris (2009). I don’t know if this biopic will restore some sense of dignity to her music, or serve as an Oscar vehicle for Mary J. Blige, but I imagine Blige’s heart is in the right place, if nothing else.
If you haven’t checked out Nina Simone in concert, you should. This is a great album, capturing the full emotional weight of the Civil Rights movement, which she was so much a part of. She also did a number of great covers, such as Bob Dylan’s Ballad of Hollis Brown and The Animals’ Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood, but her most famous cover is I Loves You Porgy, which vaulted her to fame on Bethlehem Records.
Here are some films which have featured her music,Read less