Official Trailer for Aretha Franklin's 'Amazing Grace' Concert from 1972
"Entering the venue unobtrusively, she smiles briefly, gathers herself for a moment and then starts to sing. Gently at first, but then ever more powerfully… Her voice begins to carry the audience away into the infinity of paradise." Neon has unveiled an official trailer for the concert documentary Amazing Grace, the long lost recorded version of Aretha Franklin's unforgettable recording session at a Baptist Church in Los Angeles in 1972. Legendary singer and musician Aretha Franklin sang gospel songs from her youth at a church in Los Angeles over two nights to make her album Amazing Grace. The experience was filmed, but never released, due to technical difficulties (mainly with the audio). Now 47 years later it's ready and just as incredible to behold now as it was back then. I saw this at the Berlin Film Festival and it's like nothing else. "Lord Almighty this film is magic, just pure musical magic," I wrote in my review. It's a religious experience.
Here's the official trailer for Sydney Pollack & Alan Elliott's doc Amazing Grace, direct from YouTube:
Synopsis from Berlinale: "In January 1972, Aretha Franklin made her legendary album Amazing Grace with the Southern California Community Choir and Reverend James Cleveland in the New Temple Missionary Baptist Church in Los Angeles. At the height of her fame, she made the decision to return to where she began, to the world of gospel music. Recorded [across] two days, this live album was to become the most successful gospel record of all time. On it, Franklin sings songs like 'How I Got Over', 'Precious Memories' and provides an 11-minute rendition of 'Amazing Grace'. The result is a concert film that celebrates human dignity and the longing for freedom and justice and is [also] able to transcend nostalgia and intervene in discussions about the state of the modern world." Amazing Grace is directed by Sydney Pollack (who originally filmed this footage back in 1972), and Alan Elliott (who helped put together the finished version of the film today). This premiered at DOC NYC and AFI Fest last year, as well as the Berlin Film Festival (read our review). Neon will release Amazing Grace in select theaters starting April 5th, 2019 this spring.