Jimi Hendrix' unknown pre-fame years are brought to the big screen but key details are missing due to the Hendrix Estate choosing not to support the biopic.
The Toronto Film Festival has a very diverse movie list this year, but no film stands more alone than the biopic 'All Is By My Side', portraying the pre-fame years of Jimi Hendrix, one of the biggest rock 'n' roll icons ever.
The director, John Ridley, didn't follow the usual formula of previous biopic movies, he depicted a 23 year old Hendrix living in London (1966), at the time an unknown backup guitarist who had two turbulent relationships with Linda Keith and Kathy Etchingham, before his meteoric rise to fame.
Before leaving for the Toronto Film Festival, Ripley spoke with a small audience at an open air café in Los Angeles explaining why he continued to fight for this project, "This got to be a story I was so passionate about, I could not give it up," he also expressed the attraction of what he calls "the emotional velocity" of Hendrix's journey which was was not shared by executives, resulting in the film being shot as a small independent production.
Andre 3000 (38) stars as the 23 year old Hendrix, executing a convincing and honest performance as John Defoe of The Hollywood Reporter said "Benjamin loses himself in Hendrix's soft, melodic speech, talking earnestly about the colors his music produces and the cosmic fate of mankind without sounding like a hippie idiot". The Outkast star, "with his jutting sculpted chin and elegant cheekbones, looks remarkably like Hendrix, and he captures his distinctive insolence", reported Entertainment Weekly.
So what fans can expect is an uncanny portrayal of the rock star, showing them how the mysterious icon may have acted out of the limelight, something that has never been tackled before.
The most striking aspect of the movie is the absences of hits like 'Hey Joe' and 'Purple Haze' which were influential in Jimi's entrance into the UK music scene, the reason being Ridley couldn't get the rights as the Hendrix Estate declined the songs release. As we reported at the time, in a statement, Experience Hendrix, Llc, commented why they were not permitting any Hendrix songs to be played in the biopic. Recently his ex-girlfriend and a key figure in the movie, Kathy Etchingham, had publicly claimed that she isn't happy with how her story's accuracy has been altered for the big screen, claiming she has asked her lawyers to request for corrections to be made.
An attempted to recall Jimi Hendrix's virtually unknown pre-fame years is an intriguing concept for the super fans but an inaccurate depiction could cause controversy and may not be what the audience want.
The film premiered at the Toronto Film Festival on September 13th 2013.
Andre 3000 stars as Jimi hndrix in 'All Is By My Side'
Andre 3000 on set as Jimi Hnedrix alongside Hayley Atwell as Kathy Etchingham