Tuesday, March 16th, 2021

TINA : an exhilarating documentary of the Queen of Rock ‘n Roll


The recent infamous interview that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex  gave to the Queen ……..ooops we meant Oprah Winfrey …… is just yet another example of how the tabloid media obsession with ‘bad news’ can ruin lives.  It’s kind of irrelevant to them if it’s fake or real news : it’s hard to escape it. 

Its, therefore, such a relief to us, and Tina Turner herself, that this glorious new documentary from Academy Award Winners Dan Lindsay and TJ Martin is a true celebration of this extraordinarily talented woman.  Yes, they covered her short and tumultuous life with Ike Turner but they didn’t allow this melodrama to dominate the real story of the Queen of Rock’ n Roll.

With a wonderful treasure trove of archival footage, the film really comes alive when aged 44 in the 1980’s Tina breaks free with her first solo album Private Dancer which went multi-platinum.  Her new fame from this so-called ‘comeback”  saw her hair being cut short, and her short dresses getting even shorter.  She may still had to struggle to get her own way in a male-dominated, but now empowered by her musical success,  she refused to bow down anymore. 

Even when the US radio stations were slow to support her, Tina always could rely on audiences in the  UK where she toured often.  It was there her new manager introduced Tina to Tim Brittan who had written a new song for the pop group Bucks Fizz.  Their version was sugary and upbeat and completely unrecognizable as the throaty raspy interpretation of Tina.  It was What’s Love Got To Do With It and became her very first Billboard No 1.

Tina had always set her eyes on being a female  Mick Jagger.  She wanted to be able to take her sexy act and perform in big stadiums which no female singer had ever done before.  She got her way and during her Break Every Rule World Tour in 1988, she set a then-Guinness World Record for the largest paying audience (180,000) for a solo performer.

Selling over 100 million records, Tina has received 12 Grammy Awards, the first
black artist and first female on the cover of Rolling Stone:   inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame  1991, and is a 2005 recipient of the Kennedy Center HonorsNow a Swiss resident after marrying her husband Erwin Bach,  current-day Tina is being interviewed for the film from her estate in Zurich.  It’s a very long way from where she was born into a family of cotton-picking sharecroppers in Tennesse.  The journey from there to here we are learning was not only extraordinary but included some unimaginable achievements. 

What strikes you most of all however now is Tina’s sense of real contentment and happiness.  It gives us all a sense of joy and gratitude too as she has been part of our lives for so many decades, that we consider her like family too. Only one with more talent and energy than we could ever dream of.

Back in 1993 when Tina was at the Venice Film Festival for the premiere of the biopic on her,  What Love  Got To Do With It, she couldn’t hide her disdain as she claimed the film portrayed her simply as a victim.  This doc however is a wonderful celebration of her remarkable life, and we think she’ll love it as much as we did.

Posted by queerguru  at  10:45

Genres:  documentary

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