Tag Archives: amy movie

Brazil’s Kleitson: Amy Jade Winehouse Tribute Artist Interviewed

This week, Gisele Burjack, a reporter with T1 News Tocantins – BRAZIL conducted a very brief interview with the longtime Amy Winehouse tribute-artist known as Kleitson. They talked about the ongoing International AMY Film Alternate-Poster Competition, which closes on June 21; and about Kleitson’s love for Amy and his excitement at the prospect of the film coming to Brazil.

What follows is an AAN translated summary of that brief interview. The original interview in Portuguese is linked here.

Gisele Burjack: When will the film open in Brazil?

Kleitson: No date has yet been set, but we hope very soon. As soon as the poster contest is completed, I will turn my attention to helping to encourage the filmmakers to bring AMY to Brazil as quickly as possible.

Gisele Burjack: How do you feel taking part in an international competition?

Kleitson: Obviously, for me, it is a great honor to participate in the contest. Not only because my featured work is well received but because I can best express my love for Amy Winehouse through my art. Everyone in Brazil is super anxious to see AMY – due to their love for the singer and because of director Asif Kapadia’s ‘star status’ here – so I feel really lucky to be part of the art competition.

Gisele Burjack: Your admiration for Amy seems to go beyond your artistic work as a draftsman?

Kleitson: Yes. I can say with 100% certainty, I always keep Amy inside of me, in my heart. She inspires me, guides my art.

klt.box.61915-9AMY Posters  –  By  Kleitson

Gisele Burjack: What about Amy inspires you?

Kleitson: Her spirit, sincerity, voice, talent and humility all inspire me. I think she was never fully aware of her own genius.

Gisele Burjack: Which side of Amy guides your designs?

Kleitson: Like many fans, I felt I ‘knew’ Amy even though I never met her. She was smart, funny, unique, sweet. Through her music, I feel she guides my desire to show those qualities in my art.

Gisele Burjack: How have people reacted to your AMY posters?

Kleitson: People from around the world have contacted me and expressed their appreciation for my art. I was so honored when even Amy’s mother complimented my skills.

Gisele Burjack: What are your expectations about the contest?

Kleitson: I think I have a chance to win. I believe a lot in my work because it is more conceptual than most.

Gisele Burjack: Have you received orders for your work as a result of the contest?

Kleitson: I have received some orders but have declined them all because I am totally focused on the current competition, and will be until it closes.

Gisele Burjack: How many posters have you entered in the competition?

Kleitson: I think I have the most entries. Thus far, I have 19 different posters in the competition.
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klt.box.61915-3AAN Favorites

You can view the full Kleitson Poster Collection here.

You can read more about Kleitson and his posters at this previous AAN entry.

Additional media coverage of Kleitson in Brazil will be posted on this blog through June 22, 2015.
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More Notes On The “Amy Movie” Issue

As the “will there or won’t there be an Amy-biopic” drama unfolds, it seems appropriate and fun to revisit the issue of who the ideal lead actor might be. Folks who missed my original speculative thoughts on that subject – and other movie related matters – can read them here:

https://amysarmynow.wordpress.com/2011/11/21/notes-on-the-contemplated-amy-movie/

Proponents of a quality biopic who are watching the current yes/no drama likely have little to worry about. Once the conditions – some of which I previously speculated about – are met to the satisfaction of those in control of AJW’s music, a positive outcome is probably near certain. It’s nice that fans are privileged to watch the earliest stages of the “decision making” process, even if the skillful moves become confusing to some. One likely certainty is that there are currently no plans for a movie.

So, let’s talk about actors.

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My Lead Actor Shortlist:

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Lea Michele

It’s no secret that I have been a Lea booster since long before GLEE was ever contemplated. I told you years ago that she had destiny’s starlight shining on her; when she steps on stage, everybody standing near her goes into soft focus and the Lea Star is the only one you see blazing.

In my view, Broadway has not produced a greater talent in decades. Lea has the potential to be as big as Streisand; her choices and time will determine the outcome of my predictions. Lea’s inclusion in my short list has nada to do with my high regard for her; she is a legit and rightful member of the mix.

Lea Michele – Background Details:

Lea Michele – wiki

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lea_Michele

Lea Michele – IMDB

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0584951/

Lea Performs “I Dreamed A Dream” – GLEE Featuring Idina Menzel

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xp7ARm2Lwdo&feature=related

Lea Performs “Don’t Stop Believing” – GLEE Ensemble

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5WxPyUzWSPA&feature=related

Lea Michele – Facebook Page

http://www.facebook.com/leamichele?sk=wall

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Dana DeLorenzo

Some folks know Dana as a previous ensemble player on Mancow’s Morning Madhouse radio show, but she is actually an experienced and skilled actor, singer and comic. She is best know to Amy fans as the actor/singer who portrayed Amy in the House of Winehouse tribute band.

Dana’s experience in “parody” has been seen as a negative by some playing the “pick an Amy player” game, but most such critics seem to have no grasp of what “acting” is really about. Actors are cast based on a belief that – with experienced guidance – they can deliver the vision of writers and directors; not according to what other genres they have performed in.

Dana DeLorenzo – Background Details:

Dana – IMDB

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1632536/

Dana Photo File – House of Winehouse Website

http://houseofwinehouse.com/index.php/photos/

Dana Performs “You’re Wondering Now”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iRRcwkRfjGc

House of Winehouse – Facebook Page

http://www.facebook.com/houseofwinehouse

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Stefani Germanotta – aka “Lady Gaga” – Background Details

Stefani Germanotta – wiki

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stefani_Germanotta

Stefani Germanotta – IMDB

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm3078932/

Stefani Performs “The Edge Of Glory.”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F_GMgkcc2KM

Stefani Performs “Merry The Night” – Official Video

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cggNqDAtJYU

Lady Gaga – Facebook Page

http://www.facebook.com/ladygaga?sk=wall

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To anchor the “Amy Franchise” firmly and in a manner that will guarantee its value to the Amy Winehouse Foundation for decades, the first biopic must:

1. Tell the story with integrity, respect and truth as its primary watchwords.

2.  Be presented with a reasonable and appropriate amount of artistic style.

3.  Be a commercial success.

Absent the first element, the film should not – and likely would not – be made.  A box-office hit, bearing reasonable artistic merit, will pave the way for subsequent “art flicks” that will explore different aspects of their subject. A box-office flop will destroy the franchise and preclude or long delay any future attempts at “art.” Thus, the challenge out of the gate is to make an artistically sound film that gauges its success in commercial terms.

Great scripts – in the hands of experienced directors – can often overcome the weaknesses of mediocre actors, but competent actors cannot often overcome a sloppy script and incompetent direction. When we contemplate “the players” in the first AJW-biopic, we have to suppose that both the script and the director are worldclass-perfect; there is no reason to suspect that will not be the case.

We must also note that trying to get close to a completed shooting-script prior to the publication of the Mitch Winehouse memoir, Amy, My Daughter would be imprudent. (All proceeds from the book’s sales are pledged to the Amy Winehouse Foundation. Hopefully, the film rights can be “leased” and not sold; another near-permanent cash cow for the AWF.)

The details in that book will likely be so additive to the truth of any existing record that to produce a film without them would be foolhardy. The book will not be published until late 2012; a waiting period that should help calm the fans who are lamenting that it is “too soon” for a movie. Between late 2013 and late 2014 seems about the right time for the flick to hit screens.

Each of the actors on my shortlist love and respect Amy and would do NOTHING to dishonor or wrongfully exploit her memory. They each understand that the real and true story is one of an artistic genius in search of emotional completion; not one about the physical symptoms of a disease. Stefani is the ONE actor short-listed with the “power” to help guarantee that such a maxim is strictly enforced from start to finish.

Folks who think that an actor who bears the “Gaga persona” is not perfectly appropriate to capture the essence of Amy, lose site of the fact that the “Gaga character” is the creation of a skilled business-person, a competent actor and a highly-trained musician. We call the craft “acting” because it is about transformation and mirroring; it’s about “pretending” so well that the results become convincingly real. Previous roles played are largely irrelevant to all but the most lazy casting directors. With Stefani in the lead, the audience WILL see the “essence” they expect and have a right to demand.

Stefani on The View; hear the words, absorb the unsubtle fashion clues.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PkQWnzqVGNU&feature=fvsr

Stefani’s de facto pre-audition for her first major film role played out adequately on the 2011 MTV-MVA Show.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HaD8aEVQaMc&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MN5RaLyqPEU

The process of “mainstreaming” Stefani began with Duets II.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cvjGe_j6yR8

Stefani’s mainstreaming campaign collected big-time on Thanksgiving night. Americans in “flyover country” watched and fell in love with a new sweetheart. She can now deliver demographics to an Amy-project that no other actor can.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=usj9OvGh-8c&feature=related

Because the “Amy Franchise” cannot grow and prosper without its first film effort performing very well at the cash register, Stefani is the only safe pick to lead the charge. While NO actor can guarantee a money maker, Stefani is as close to such a guarantor as can possibly be found.

To those of us who love Amy, she is “everything” and it is easy for us to assume that everybody else must feel the same way; that assumption is faulty. While the Amy legend now has tremendous momentum, it is uncertain that such “Big Mo” – on its own – will translate into a solid box-office success two-years+ from now. Remember, if only every AJW fan queued up for the first big-budget film, the chance for a massive commercial success would be diminished. The first movie needs the power of a “Super Star” to deliver the greater demographics that will earn the financial win required to help permanently secure the franchise.

Folks who want to experiment with lesser-known actors in the lead are promoting a risk that, in my view, the franchise simply cannot afford to take. A failed effort on the FIRST shot may long preclude future shots; maybe forever.

Following the commercial success of the initial film, the creative doors will open wide to many fine actors, writers and directors; in many venues. Stage plays, musical revues, additional films, BBC/PBS productions, even Cirque Du Soleil resident and touring companies are all in the deck, if the FIRST cards dealt are winners. Stefani is the right actor to help stack that deck and mark those cards in favor of the franchise‘s longevity.

During the balance of this century, the Amy Winehouse Foundation has the opportunity to better the lives of hundreds-of-thousands of young people. Aside from the strong commitment of the AWF’s founders, operators and volunteers, the greatest asset the foundation has is the “Amy Franchise.” That sacred treasure must be guarded as closely as any golden goose and it must be kept in maximum productive mode forever; a commercially successful initial biopic will help assure that result.

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In time, an entry here will speculate about the potential merits of sundry other players and directors that might be contemplated to work on any prospective first “Amy Movie.”

Stay tuned for updates.


Notes On The Contemplated “Amy Movie”

Each day delivers more obvious clues that the first movie about the life of Amy Jade Winehouse is close at hand. Many folks disagree with my views on the matter and I respect their right to do so. My views are as follows.
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Note To The Moviemakers:

Production teams should consider themselves on constructive notice that any film which seeks to profit by unfairly exploiting AJW – or by reinforcing the false narrative that has been constructed by the corrupt media – will not succeed at the box office. If Amy fans become aware that the filmmakers have – to any degree – failed to regard this simple and good-faith advisory, such fans will work fulltime to assure that the resulting film fails and that those funding it lose their investments. Amy was bashed and trashed quite enough in life; fans will not tolerate a “hater bait” movie, now that she has left the stage.

If the filmmakers decide that a movie sympathetically and sensitively exalting a great artist suffering from a dreaded disease is not “sexy enough” to create adequate profits, they should simply abandon the project. While she was alive, Amy’s fans were foolishly silent during an evil media’s assault on her decent and sensitive character; they will not make the same mistake in her absence. A respectful representation is expected and nothing less will be acceptable.

All elements of “disease chauvinism” must either be excluded from the project, OR they must be exposed as the deadly “blame the victim” elements that they actually are. Civilized folks don’t hate sick folks and they don’t tolerate those who do so. If the prospective makers of any Amy movie do not yet fully grasp this concept, they must employ competent medical professionals to consult in the matter.

Amy’s story is not about the symptoms of the disease that afflicted her; it is about her artistic accomplishments and her constant search for friendship and unbreakable trust. Her story is that she knew she should be her own best friend, but was unable to do so. She searched for, experimented with, and gambled on the non-career puzzle piece that would have completed her. Try as she did, that missing piece long eluded her and when it was finally within her grasp, a vile disease cheated her of the prize.

Amy’s fans – currently heartbroken and in great despair – expect a fair, balanced and positive message to be conveyed in any AJW biopic. They will support nothing less.
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Note To Amy Fans:

If we want our opinions taken seriously in the process that will lead the first Amy film to the screen, we will have to partially cede “ownership” of Amy. Now, “our girl” belongs to the ages; we can influence the maintenance of her legend, but we cannot “own” that legend.

Our constructive input is entirely indispensable, but we will squander the opportunity to render it if at every turn we simply shout, “No, No, No!” We must help guide the process by respectfully influencing and educating the artists and business people involved in the project. That is the path to assuring that the movie is the best that it can be.

The filmmakers have a clear self-interest in seeking both preproduction and postproduction input from Amy’s fans. Intransigent fans can thwart that interest, but the result will be the release of a movie that will not make a satisfactory contribution to preserving the legend and promoting the legacy of its subject.

Hopefully, most fans will decide to act prudently and speak frankly and constructively about their hopes, goals and wishes for an appropriate and successful film. To do any less in the face of inevitability would, in my view, be a betrayal of the obligations we have to AJW.
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Note Regarding The Lead Player:

Many fans are worried that “nobody” can adequately represent Amy’s “essence” in a biopic. Those worries are largely misplaced. Film remains a medium of writers and directors. Given the right script and a skilled director, Amy’s “essence” will appear on the screen; regardless of the lead player selected.

A large number of actors have been contemplated for the role. Among the leading contenders have been Lea Michele and Stefani Germanotta. Some prominent notice has also gone to actor/singer/comic Dana DeLorenzo.

Lea Michele is a highly-skilled actor and she is one of the most talented vocalists that Broadway has produced in decades. In films subsequent to the first one, Lea will be an ideal choice to portray Amy and there is no doubt that she is super-qualified to get the job done.

Dana DeLorenzo is also multi-talented. While some have expressed concern that her past “parody” performances might interfere with her ability to take dramatic direction in the role, I totally disagree. She is an experienced actor, understands how to meet a director’s and writer’s expectations, and might well bring a fresh and fun perspective to subsequent Amy movies.

In the first “big budget” theatrical movie, Stefani Germanotta is both the logical and best choice to portray AJW. Her demographics are both homogeneous and additive; she reinforces Amy’s natural box-office base and she substantially expands that base in demos where AJW has historically lacked support. SG’s participation will attract existing Amy fans and draw a massive crossover audience to the project.

Stefani has very high-end vocal skills and her acting abilities will be expanded in the hands of a sensitive and experienced director. In the search for Amy’s “essence,” there is no more trustworthy vessel than Stefani. Her respect for Amy is well known and she bears an understanding of AJW’s circumstance that few other candidates possess.

Sometimes, a sporting coach will allow a “player to play” just because that player “wants it more” than any other team member. In making the choice of Amy’s onscreen representative, the shot-callers should understand that nobody wants this role more than Stefani Germanotta does. Stefani – aka Lady Gaga – is the correct pick.
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Notes On The Money:

Moviemaking is ONLY about an effort to make money for its participants. If they make good movies, they make good money; if their movies are junk, they lose money. Moviemakers risk large fortunes to earn their profits and they are entitled to apportion those earnings as they choose.

In the instant circumstance, it is wholly in the interest of the film creators to be extremely generous with the primary beneficiary of AJW’s legacy: The Amy Winehouse Foundation. Such generosity will help garner great support for the movie.

At both the front-end and backend of the project, ALL participants should be as generous as they possibly can in their dealings with the AWF. Any sense to the contrary perceived by Amy fans would be a severe and destructive impediment to the film’s success.
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The first movie may or may not be the “best one.” As time passes, other film projects will present and new players will have their chance to add to the legend-preserving and legacy-building of our JadeMermaid Princess.

I respectfully request that Amy’s fans approach this film project with a combination of optimism and realism. We want a great movie and Amy deserves no less. Let’s act both reasonably and prudently to help assure a positive outcome for all concerned. Thanks!