Saturday, July 30, 2016

The Zen of Bennett (2012)

IMDb plot summary: A documentary set on the eve of Tony Bennett's 85th birthday.
Directed by Unjoo Moon.

This is an awkward documentary in that it doesn't seem to be putting any effort in to actually giving us a glimpse of its subject's life or personality. The most interesting moments by far are watching Bennett record duets with a variety of other talented singers and getting a glimpse into how they work together. But this film doesn't make him look at all interesting. We only get a tiny peek into the details of his life, so it's not usual as a biography, and his observations and thoughts are incredibly vague, so it's not useful or interesting as a character piece. We get zero insight into his creative process or, really, much of his view on life as a whole. I'd like to think he could be a more interesting documentary subject than the movie made him out to be, but I feel like it tried to paint him as some incredibly wise man when, really, he just comes across a regular guy who likes singing. Watching him sing is fun. Everything else in the documentary is scattered. I wish they'd focused more heavily on the music and left the rest alone.

2 stars.

How it entered my Flickchart:
The Zen of Bennett < Rebecca
The Zen of Bennett < Bad Moms
The Zen of Bennett > Faces
The Zen of Bennett > Courageous
The Zen of Bennett < The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou
The Zen of Bennett < Stuart Little
The Zen of Bennett > The Rookie
The Zen of Bennett > Winter Passing
The Zen of Bennett > Bewitched
The Zen of Bennett > And Then There Were None (1945)
The Zen of Bennett < Facing the Giants
Final spot: #1986 out of 2490, which seems a bit too low.

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