Joni at 75

Tonight, my Dad and I went to see the film, Joni at 75, a filmed version of her birthday tribute concert. Joni Mitchell, along with Carrie Fisher, has long been one of my personal heroes (as well as sharing my birthday, although she has a few years on me!) so when I was told that this film was happening, and showing in Birmingham, I was pretty determined to go. It was in the cinema at the Mailbox, a (very fancy) shopping complex in Birmingham. Before the film, we had a really nice meal – and I had a non-alcoholic pina colada, which I enjoyed very much. After the meal, we made our way to the cinema.

Access-wise, it was mostly very good – the staff were really helpful and my only complaint is that my neck started hurting a little bit because the accessible spaces were at the front. Aside from that though, they did a very good job and were attentive, clearly having thought about things beforehand. I may also have been won over by the fact that they gave out Green and Blacks chocolate afterwards!

So, to the film itself. I really loved it – there were bits I liked more than others but it made me realise (or realise anew) lots of things:

  1. Joni Mitchell is one of the greatest songwriters ever – the concert didn’t feature some of my favourite songs, which is probably a good thing because I was close enough to tears without hearing Little Green or The Last Time I Saw Richard!
  2. I’d forgotten (and have been pleasantly reminded) of how much I love Rufus Wainwright’s voice.
  3. Although I had heard *of* him, I wasn’t very familiar with Seal before tonight, but thanks to the beauty of his voice and his wonderful storytelling and performance ability, I definitely now need to remedy this!

The most moving moments were to do with frailty, both Joni’s own, but particularly that of Kris Kristofferson – his performance of A Case of You (with Brandi Carlisle) was a beautiful reminder of that frailty and humanity.

My personal highlight was Seal’s rendition of Both Sides Now, I’m slightly inarticulate trying to explain how good it was – but it’s probably on youtube, and I think the DVD comes out soon anyway.


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