Away from the towering beehive and the applied-on-the-bus eyeliner, away from the tabloid 'trainwreck' headlines and even from the huge talent, who was Amy Winehouse? The answer in Asif Kapadia's amazing new doc (watch even if you're not a fan) is a funny, blunt, vulnerable woman. Kapadia (who also directed 'Senna') sifted through thousands of hours of footage and interviewed her friends and musical collaborators to make ‘Amy’. 'The biggest job for me was to earn the trust of everyone,' he says. 'But I think they realised quite quickly that we wanted to find the real girl.' Here Kapadia picks the five images - mostly taken by Amy Winehouse's friends and family - that touched him.
‘Amy’ in pictures by Asif Kapadia
As Asif Kapadia’s heartbreaking Amy Winehouse documentary hits cinemas, the director shares the pictures that show the genuine side of the troubled singer
‘This is Amy at her friend Lauren’s house. I think she’s about 17 or 18 here. They’re all quite musical, her friends and family. Amy talked about how she put all her problems down into a book of poetry and turned something bad into something good. Her escape from feeling down was to make music and write.
‘This was a creative period. Her first album was pretty much done at 17, 18. She knew what she wanted. She would fight with the label about which songs should go on the album. I liked that she was mouthy. She lived on fast-forward, to have lived all of those lives before writing them.’
Amy in Camden
New York ❤︎ Amy
‘This is Amy in New York. She went over there with her managers to try and get a deal. It’s just a very sweet picture because she’s looking right at Nick [Shymansky, her manager] and she’s very happy. They were going around, recording, doing demos, getting producers. They couldn’t really get a deal on the first album, so there were a few downs along the way. But this picture is about the relationship between her and the lens and her and Nick – how close they were. She looks great, healthy and happy.’
Amy and Mos Def
Read our review of ‘Amy’
Anyone with a beating heart will be forgiven for allowing it to break during this unflinching and thoughtful account of the life and death of the soul singer Amy Winehouse. A shattering and sensitive documentary, it's directed by Asif Kapadia, the British director of 'Senna', who has once again created an immersive, layered portrait by stitching together mostly existing footage. Much of it is shot on phones or Camcorders, capturing chats in cars, holiday banter or, more cruelly, intimate moments with foil and crack.