The title “Twenty Feet from Stardom” implies a missed opportunity at being famous; to be so close and yet so far. But the business careers of backup singers are by far the least interesting aspect of Morgan Neville‘s documentary. Where Twenty Feet from Stardom shines is in using the perspective of backup singers to explore music history, race, collaboration, and performance. Backup singers Darlene Love, Merry Clayton, Lisa Fischer, and Tata Vega share their bittersweet stories of how the business may have kept them down, but that there’s arguably more value in singing as part of a group. The claim never sounds disingenuous as their passion always rings loud and clear.
There’s talk of a remake of Dune. That would be the third go at the material, after David Lynch’s fascinating 1984 version, and Syfy’s mini-series. Maybe this goes forward, maybe it doesn’t, but I find it hard to believe any version could top Lynch’s flawed opus. The premise of this space opera is this: Kyle MacLachlan stars as Paul Atreides, a young prince prophesized to change the galaxy. His family is involved in a political struggle with everyone trying to control “the spice” on the desert planet Arrakis. Just from that you can tell there are lots of worlds and ideas that make this one a bit of a head scratch, but once you get past all that, it’s a lush visual fantasy. My review of the Blu-ray of Dune after the jump.