My partner watches all those “Making A Murderer” sort of documentaries where they investigate old crime cases with people who are wrongfully imprisoned. He gets annoyed by the injustices of the judicial system due to one’s socioeconomic status. When he goes off about it I plaster a smile on my face, go to my mental happy place (remembering that scene in “Magic Mike” where Channing Tatum strips to the song “Pony”), and “listen” to his righteous anger. I never really understood his outrage until now.
This weekend I watched the Grace Jones documentary “Bloodlight And Bami” on Hulu and my blood got to boiling. How could someone have unlimited access to Grace Jones, one of the most unique and colorful divas of my time, and produce a documentary that is boring and unoriginal? The inhumanity!
The just shy of two hour long documentary (time which I will never get back) bounces around from a visit to family and friends in Jamaica (I only know it’s Jamaica because the camera’s constantly zooming in on a Jamaican flag air freshener flailing from the car’s rear view mirror), to Paris where she’s doing an unexplained job (speaking French without subtitles but luckily “Madame” and “brothel” are universal words), and finally to her concert (either a single show or a tour) where I could watch her sing while hula hooping in a black corset all day. Seeing a Grace Jones show is now on my bucket list.
I didn’t know much about Grace Jones going into the documentary and I know even less now. When you have a beautiful, outspoken, Amazonian woman like Grace Jones willing to lay naked on a marble slab while on camera and a half a dozen shower heads spray down upon her but you decide to spend more time filming her playing Jacks in a Jamaican shanty town, I have to question why. There are so many missed opportunities in this film, like she’s never interviewed or speaks to the camera. There’s a few phone conversations that are great divaesque moments that get no back story or follow up. She’s yells at musicians for not showing up for a recording session on an album she’s financing and another time she’s swearing about a hotel bill that needs to get paid or she’s getting kicked out. The album and hotel never get mentioned again but cut to the Jamaican flag air freshener.
Obviously this documentary was not directed by a gay man or that drama would have been addressed. Also there would have been a lot more gratuitous shots of Grace singing and dancing on stage in her mirrored bowler hat reflecting laser beams off of it. Who does something like that? Only Grace Jones. Cinematic gems like this are lacking in film today and are few and far between in “Bloodlight And Bami.” It takes a lot to offend me, but a Grace Jones documentary that puts me to sleep instead of invigorates me, is the definition of offensive.