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Generally favorable reviews - based on 16 Critics What's this?

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  • Summary: A strange singer with ‘god given talent’ drifts through the mythic city of Memphis under its canopy of ancient oak trees, shattered windows and burning spirituality. Surrounded by lovers, legends, hustlers, preachers, and a wolfpack of kids, the unstable performer avoids the recording studioA strange singer with ‘god given talent’ drifts through the mythic city of Memphis under its canopy of ancient oak trees, shattered windows and burning spirituality. Surrounded by lovers, legends, hustlers, preachers, and a wolfpack of kids, the unstable performer avoids the recording studio and is driven to spend time in his own form of self-discovery. Shown in fragments, his journey drags him from love and happiness right to the edge of another dimension. [Kino Lorber] Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 16
  2. Negative: 0 out of 16
  1. Reviewed by: Alan Scherstuhl
    Sep 2, 2014
    90
    Sutton's Memphis framed in fascinating layers -- leaves and tree limbs, wig shops and overgrown gravel roads. It's a movie of a place and a character rather than about them.
  2. Reviewed by: Rob Nelson
    Aug 25, 2014
    80
    A digressive, daringly experimental study of a flailing musician, magnetically played by accomplished bluesman and poet Willis Earl Beal.
  3. Reviewed by: Clayton Dillard
    Sep 1, 2014
    75
    The film's music is the city itself as well as a subtle suggestion that Tim Sutton's own digital cinema is just as elusive and intangible as Willis's unwavering sense of dissatisfaction.
  4. Reviewed by: John Bleasdale
    Aug 25, 2014
    60
    Ultimately, Memphis is a bold and bewildering conjuring act, that might mean nothing at all, but the sleight of hand is worth the price of admission.
  5. 60
    Sutton finds the lyrical tension in torpor; he shows how Willis’s artistic vacuum isn’t a passive thing, how it eats into him, how it even permeates the natural world.
  6. Reviewed by: Martin Tsai
    Sep 11, 2014
    50
    The film feels like a sketch rather than a portrait, beautifully rendered but incomplete in the details.
  7. Reviewed by: Keith Uhlich
    Sep 3, 2014
    40
    The filmmaker’s second feature is an unfortunate sophomore slump, an abrasive and opaque artist-in-crisis story that feels protracted at barely 80 minutes.

See all 16 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 0 out of
  2. Mixed: 0 out of
  3. Negative: 0 out of

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