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The sad facts of Janis Joplin's life and death have been recounted in several ever-more selacious books; when there's a new car-crash drug-addict or alcoholic singer in the news, Janis's name is routinely trotted out. We don't need reminding.

This film from 1974 celebrates the performer in all her passionate pomp. Janis on her best form shook her audiences into estatic frenzy. She never wanted to see anyone just sitting there, unresponsive. From the opening voodoo-hippie TV performances with Big Brother & The Holding Company in 1966 to her final major sets from the Festival Express tour, Janis's maturing performance style reflected her love, indeed deep need, of an audience's love. My favourite section is near the end of the film, where the Frankfurt stage becomes the setting for a rockin' party. One by one, at the hostess's insistance, youngsters step up to dance. Janis pulls them by the hands and welcomes them to groove with her. The screen fades away on a party that must have been very hard to break up!

From its opening - 'Mercedes Benz' plays as a camera pans over Janis's psychedelic-painted car - to the touching closing photo-montage throughout her life, the film reminds us of just what an impact Janis had on Rock and Soul. She speaks of her love for the blues, her admiration for black singers and her carefully worded disdain for 'straight people'.

Don't be put off by the Dutch text on the cover, this is the original film. It's a joy to watch Janis. I've always thought of her as my Soul Sister No.1, and all the fabulous footage reminds me of why she touched me so deeply the first time I heard that extraordinary voice. Unforgettable!
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 16 June 2010
Amazing live performances captured on film are the reason to see to see this.

The interviews with Janis don't reveal much, and there's no real sense of her history. Even the stage stuff is shot pretty straightforwardly, but, man-o-man could she sing!

One wonderful thing is that a lot of the numbers are uncut, allowed to go their full length, which, with Janis in concert, could easily be 8 minutes or more. The power, the emotion, the energy, the sexiness, the sweet sense of fun she brought to the stage could only be hinted at on her albums. For those reasons it's more than worth sitting through the slightly homogenized off-stage material.

It awful to think that this film is essentially unavailable. Time for a decent DVD re-release!
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on 12 May 2010
What an absolute find this is! This is a Dutch issue of the docu-film "Janis", which Channel 4 (in it's infancy) televised in the '80's. The film was originally released in America in 1975, but to my knowledge has never been issued there on DVD (I've been watching out for it ever since the invention of internet!). Don't be put off by the unrecognisable cover, or the Dutch lettering - I'm currently watching a crystal-clear, English language, subtitles switched off faithful reproduction of this film. My treasured VHS tape of the Channel 4 broadcast (received in a dire reception area and barely watchable through the "snow"), can now be consigned to the bin!
"Thank You" Amazon, and the Marketplace seller who supplied it - at a fantastic price, and speedy delivery. Years of prayers have been answered (and that's saying something from a non-believer!).
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on 2 November 2011
This dvd has it all - amazing footage of a unique singer. Thoroughly entertaining. Any biographies on Janis tend to stress the negative side of her life, but this film shows that she was also an extreme professional and dedicated to her craft. We can but speculate what she would have gone on to achieve if she had not been addicted to the lottery of death that is heroin.
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on 11 April 2015
This film is fantastic! I remember recording it onto a betamax tape from a channel 4 broadcast when I was a teenager. Janis is probably my favourite singers of all time and her music reminds me of some great times in my life. Unfortunately, not much footage of her has been Officially released on dvd. However, you can find some fantastic footage on the net (if you know where to look!) raise your hand and enbjoy :)
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on 5 February 2013
I have been after this film for many years. I first saw Janis on channel 4 back in the 1980s (back when channel 4 was a good channel and was worth watching) An excellent addition to my dvd collection.
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on 18 April 2015
If you ever loved Janis then you will love this. Snippets from TV shows, and live footage from Woodstock and Frankfurt. Her voice doesn't always hit the notes, but instead does something gripping.Some of the interviews I found touching, part of her was still just a little girl.


PS one of the reviews mentions intermittent subtitles - didn't happen for me. The initial options are in Dutch, so maybe they unintentionally selected a subtitle option???
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on 19 June 2012
Enough's been said already by the other reviewers about how BRILLIANT this film is but has anyone mentioned the EXTREMELY ANNOYING INTERMITTENT SUBTITLES which keep appearing at the bottom of the screen which are impossible to turn off - that is the only bad thing about this film tho it is ANNOYING!
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on 9 April 2015
The video is good quality. Unfortunately on our equipment (and maybe everyone elses) the sound suffers.

In the re-mastering, it appears that there has been some audio levelling applied. In most of the live performances, when the bass guitar kicks in then Janis's voice get put into the background. Originally thought it was our virtual surround processing upsetting matters, but tried it on a true steroe setup and the same occurred.

When you are reproducing a MUSIC dvd - why mess about with the sound. The video copy we have is clear, but the picture suffers...
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on 17 July 2015
Janis never to be forgotten........
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