• Film,  Miss N,  Music

    Amazing Grace – the Long-Awaited Aretha Franklin Documentary

    “She can sing anything. She can sing Three Blind Mice. Any-thing,” the Reverend James Cleveland tells the congregation gathered at the New Temple Missionary Baptist Church in South Los Angeles. It’s January 1972, and Cleveland is welcoming the congregation to the 2-day recording that Franklin is about to begin —  a recording that will go on to become the best-selling album of her mighty career. The late Cleveland, who died in 1991, was the best person for the job of introducing Franklin and setting the scene for the recording. As Franklin’s father — he, too, no longer with us — will later relay towards the end of the session, Cleveland…

  • Miss N

    Free Solo

    File this one under Movies That Simply Must Be Seen on the Big Screen. If you were a fan of Meru, the 2015 documentary from Jimmy Chin and Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi about Chin’s ascent to the 21 000 foot-high Meru Peak in the Indian Himalayas, you’ll definitely appreciate the magnificent feat Free Solo achieves. This one turns the thrill level up a whole dozen notches more, following climber Alex Honnold, as he seeks to make it to the top of El Capitan in Yosemite – without the kind of traditional gear that Chin and his crew, and basically most climbers, usually use. For that is what it means to free solo,…