The Agony and Ecstasy of Phil Spector
Wexner Center members receive free admission to select screenings at the Gateway Film Center, located in the South Campus Gateway. The films are selected (and often introduced) by Wex curators. Don’t forget to bring your Wex member ID card to show at the Gateway’s box office.
Nonfiction filmmaking holds a strong appeal for many committed directors and producers. This ongoing series lets you sample wide-ranging approaches to the contemporary documentary.
"Illuminating and entertaining.… It's mesmerizing."—New York
"Has the great virtue of delving deeply into Spector's artistic legacy, through well-chosen video and sound clips, and most of all by Spector's own recollections discussing his classic work in illuminating detail.”—Richard Brody, The New Yorker
Legendary pop music genius, record producer Phil Spector created the "wall of sound" behind some of the greatest hits of the 1960s: Be My Baby, He's a Rebel, Da Doo Ron Ron, and You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling, to name just a few. Today he is imprisoned and serving 19-years-to-life for the murder of B-movie actress Lana Clarkson. This film draws on the rare freewheeling interview Spector gave to Vikram Jayanti during his first trial (which ended in a hung jury). Filmed at his castle, seated before the white piano that he bought with John Lennon (for Imagine), he lucidly holds forth on his life and work: his father's suicide when he was a child; the process through which he achieved his distinctive sound; his friendship with Lennon; and his case that (despite Paul McCartney's contrary position) he salvaged the Beatles' Let It Be album. Then there is Spector's curious enmity toward Tony Bennett and Buddy Holly ("he got a postage stamp even though he was only in rock 'n' roll three years"), and a grandiosity that has him likening himself to Bach, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Galileo. And, yes, there is an endless parade of hairstyles and flamboyant outfits. (film description courtesy Film Forum) (102 mins., HD video)