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Joni Mitchell - Woman of Heart and Mind: A Life Story

57 customer reviews

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(Jun 03, 2003)
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$9.20 $8.92

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

This DVD is a complete look at the extraordinary career, life and artistry of
singer/songwriter/poet/painter Joni Mitchell. Her prolific sense of artistry and passion for sharing has brought many a feeling from the heart to the head. Joni Mitchell: Woman of Heart and Mind, is a unique look at Joni Mitchell: as an artist
of magnitude and sensibility.

One of the great talents of her or anyone else's generation gets the royal treatment with this superb two-hour (with bonus material) documentary. It's all here (via interviews, including conversations past and present with Mitchell herself, photos, generous helpings of concert footage, and more): her Saskatchewan childhood, her lovers, her painting, her reunion with the daughter she had left behind at age 19... and, of course, her music, the songs, recordings, and performances, so intensely personal yet so universally accessible, that comprise one of the most extraordinarily original and significant (if not always wildly popular) bodies of work any artist has ever produced. Even true fanatics are likely to find revelations here; the rest of us can simply rejoice in the life and artistry of Joni Mitchell. The extras are highlighted by complete concert readings of four songs, including "Big Yellow Taxi" and "Woodstock." --Sam Graham

Special Features

  • Interview outtakes
  • Bonus songs: Big Yellow Taxi, Amelia, Hejira, Woodstock
  • Photo gallery
  • Discography
  • Travelogue
  • CD spot

Product Details

  • Actors: David Crosby, Joni Mitchell, Elliot Roberts
  • Directors: Susan Lacy, Stephanie Bennett
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Dolby, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Eagle Rock Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: June 3, 2003
  • Run Time: 120 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000096FTI
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #47,834 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

88 of 89 people found the following review helpful By Charlie Calvert on November 13, 2003
Format: DVD
This is a sensitive and beautifully made documentary that I recommend highly.
Joni is one of my favorite musicians. I have been listening to her on a regular basis for over 30 years. As a result, my expectations for this kind of film were high, and overall I was pleased with what I saw.
By far the most appealling part of this documentatary is the wonderful archival footage of a young Joni doing a number of her great early songs. This material simply shimmers with an almost other worldly glow. The retelling of the writing of her song Woodstock all but had me in tears, it was so moving and evocative.
The commentary by people who knew her well, such as David Crosby, Graham Nash, David Geffin, and others, is thoughtful and very enlightening. Recent footage from an interview with Joni herself is also very engaging.
Ultimately I would like to read a really long, really thorough biography that would explain all the complicated details that make up this extraordinary woman's life. There just wasn't enough room to dig into some of the most interesting transitions in her complicated life in this beautifully made, two hour long film. I still hunger for more information.
Joni is such an intelligent woman, and many of the decisions in her later life would make interesting material for a more in depth exploration. Her relationship to jazz, the development of breakthrough albums such as Hejira and Mingus, her personal thoughts on other musicians, etc. All of this would be interesting to read about in more depth.
But one needs to recoginize the limitations of the genre. You can only do so much in a documentary film. And certainly one understands why there was so much focus on her early career, given the almost transcendent power of the early archival footage.
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57 of 59 people found the following review helpful By Michael King on June 24, 2003
Format: DVD
This DVD chronicles the life, loves and career of Joni Mitchell. She was very strong-willed, battling childhood polio and later teaching herself to play guitar. That combination of determination and talent helped her succeed in the male dominated world of folk music. To paraphrase her, she wanted to combine the melodicism of the big band era with the lyricism of Bob Dylan in the songs she wrote. She soon went from the coffee houses of Greenwich Village to Carnegie Hall. Ever the wandering spirit, she moved from New York to Laurel Canyon, LA, where she met and fell in love with Graham Nash. During that period, when they were living together, Graham wrote "Our House" and Joni wrote the album "Ladies Of The Canyon." That album included the official anthem to the sixties' most famous music festival, "Woodstock." Ironically, Joni was supposed to play at Woodstock, but her manager talked her out of it at the last minute.

The DVD goes on to chronicle Joni's musical journeys into pop ("You Turn Me On, I'm A Radio") rock and roll ("Raised On Robbery") and jazz ("Mingus"), a superb album that was savaged by the critics and ignored by the record buying public. Joni continued to release many fine albums throughout the eighties and nineties. Joni finally won a Grammy in 1996, when "Turbulent Indigo" won for best pop album. Unlike other music veterans who won Grammies late in their careers, Joni's win did not translate into huge records sales and lots of radio airplay. Nevertheless, this multi-talented artist continues to make great music. The DVD includes snippets of songs performed in various concerts throughout her entire career. A bonus section features four songs, taken from her 1998 video "Painting With Words And Music," in their entirety. The songs are "Big Yellow Taxi," "Amelia," "Hejira" and "Woodstock."
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50 of 52 people found the following review helpful By Kurt von Behrmann on July 16, 2003
Format: DVD
Few artists have been as hard to catagorize as Joni Mitchell. Emerging initially as a sensitive introspective folk singer from Canada to becoming a singer songwriter whose musical style crosses so many boarders as to becoming nearly unclassifiable, Mitchell has stubbornly followed her own creative path undeterred by trends or fashion. What sets her apart from so many of her contemporaries is her ability to expand, grow and remain viable in an industry not known for career longevity. When you consider the fate of so many of her contemporaries, drug addiction. creative sloth, death, rehab or becoming irrelevant oldies acts in far flung Casinos in the Southwest, Mitchell has overcome most, if not all, of those land mines. She, unlike so many who were there when she started, is still here and still making music.
For those who have wondered when Mitchell would get her just due, it seems that all of those years of stubbornly refusing to be completely controlled by the "Music Biz" have paid off in terms of honors, awards and now a DVD that chronicles her life.
Joni Mitchell A life Story: Woman of Heart and Mind from Eagle Vision gives her the royal treatment. Directed by Susan Lacy, the entire 120 minute documentary is much like Mitchell's work, personal, revealing, but decidedly artistic in it's aims. This is a point not lost on Lacy who allows Mitchell to tell her amazing story from her roots in a small town in Canada to being the consort, muse and inspiration for Crosby Stills Nash, and sometimes Young.
Told in chronological order, we learn of Mitchell's childhood bout with Polio and marriage to fellow singer Chuck Mitchell, who informed her shortly after their marriage he was not willing to be the father of "another man's child.
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