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Lost Angel: The Genius Of Judee Sill

Lost Angel: The Genius Of Judee Sill

When Judee Sill died in 1979 at the age of 35, she left behind a slim catalogue of songs that went underappreciated during her lifetime but now seem as sublime as anything else by her fabled generation of LA singer/songwriters. What Sill didn’t leave behind was much of a visual record. Given that scant supply of surviving material – for example, grainy black-and-white footage of an outdoor concert in 1973, a performance for The Old Grey Whistle Test – a documentary portrait of Sill was always going to be a tough proposition. Yet in making Lost Angel: The Genius Of Judee Sill, directors Andy Brown and Brian Lindstrom find ways to overcome those limitations and create something that attains the same grace and beauty heard in Sill’s music.

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Their most effective means turns out to be Sill’s own writings and drawings. Occasionally peppered with colorful language (“FUCK FORMULAS”) and read aloud by a Sill sound-alike, her journal entries, lyrics and notes for arrangements become a compelling visual representation of her inner life as well as a route into her increasingly complex music. Likewise, her illustrations become the basis for animations that…

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