Janis: Little Girl Blue-2015

Janis: Little Girl Blue- 2015

Director-Amy Berg

Starring-Janis Joplin

Scott’s Review #420


Reviewed- June 19, 2016

Grade: B+

As a fan of Janis Joplin’s classic 1960’s-early 1970’s brand of classic, bluesy, rock n roll, viewing a documentary of the stars life and times was a great experience. The film sheds a bit of light on the mysterious rocker- gone way too soon and with undoubtedly much more to say. Janis was one of the most authentic, real performers of her time. A big voice in a man’s world. Impressive still, is that she wrote all of her songs herself.

The documentary is well put together as it traverses Janis’s early days as an insecure teenager living in rural Texas. Never a beauty, Janis was insecure-as most teenagers are. She was always a pistol and prided herself at being different and outspoken, oftentimes ruffling feathers in her conservative town, especially given the time period. Janis preferred hanging out with males and being “one of the guys”.

An aspect I found interesting about this documentary is the exploration of Janis’s home life- well before she found success as a singer. Taunted in school for being different because she was a painter, and a thinker, she lived in a largely racist town and had conflict with others who were not as progressive as she. Janis’s sister and brother are heavily featured throughout the documentary and explain interesting tidbits about Janis’s home life and conflict with her parents. Sadly, they forged a pleasant relationship, but never really mended fences before Janis’s untimely death.

Her relationships with other rockers of the time are explored and more than one festival performance is shared- giving a glimpse of what type of performer she was- improvised, heart on the line, intense, and brutally honest.

A lost soul with enormous talent and raw capabilities, Janis Joplin is missed, but thankfully we still have her incredible music to carry on with. Janis: Little Girl Blue is a great documentary that gives a cherished overview of the life and times of a tremendous artist.

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