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An Absolute Pleasure!
on 19 December 2013
This documentary following a year in the life of Queen of Rock and Fleetwood Mac frontwoman Stevie Nicks, as she wrote and recorded her most recent studio album 'In Your Dreams' in 2010, is a must-see for fans, but will also prove great entertainment and insight to the casual viewer.
Nicks is a thoroughly engaging subject for the cameras of album producer and film director Dave Stewart (Eurythmics), and certainly lives up to her image of mystical, gypsy rock goddess. But rather than come across as a demanding diva comfortably holding court in her own ivory tower, Nicks displays a warm and funny, even dippy, persona who is simultaneously a wonder of concentration and disciplined creativity. Any preconception that she provides basic raw material and leaves it up to a producer to create the product is totally dispelled as we see her take firm control of the evolution of tracks, instruments used, and hear how damn good her demos are, and that she can play instruments herself.
Each track of 'In Your Dreams' the album is covered here, and there are some terrific insights into Nicks' thought processes and approach to expression as we witness the songs take shape and make it onto tape. The only downside to this is that in trying to cover 14 songs in just 100 minutes, plus added reflections on Nicks' childhood and experiences in the music industry, means that it's more of a glimpse than an exposition at times, and indeed the film really would have benefited from a longer running time. Certainly, being in Nicks' charming company is not something one wants to cut short!
Visually, the film makes use of multiple formats and sources - from mobile phone cameras to full-blown vistas to make pop promos - and this keeps it interesting to look at without being a mere distraction. Audio-wise, the sound gets muffled on a couple of occasions, but this is managed with the provision of subtitles, and all other times it's got good balance and clarity.
Extras are provided in the form of 5 bonus scenes - one of which has a short but beguiling contribution from guitar player extraordinaire Waddy Wachtel, as well as four of the completed videos for single releases from the album.
'In Your Dreams' the movie comes as highly recommended as the album itself, and if you see it and haven't bought the album, the movie should certainly make you want to run out and buy it straight afterwards.
Stevie Nicks really is a treasure - wonderfully engrossing, hysterically loquacious, hugely talented - in fact, everything you hoped she would be. As one fan comments in the film, she is NECESSARY!.