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AGILE MOBILE HOSTILE - A year with Andre Williams

aTricia Todd & Eric Matthies film
Filmbuff - 2008

Someone could wonder if it makes any sense to review a film-documentary issued in 2008. I try to list the possible answers that come to my mind: because it is the first organic document, although available only in its original language, on the mythological Andre Williams, because the character deserves it, because I liked it so much, because it's passed by rather unnoticed, because is worth to look for it and, to summary what above, because yes. Dot.
Multifaceted, controversial, volatile, hard to classify in as rigorous as useless definitions character, he has crossed, not really uninjured and cultivating so much talent as how much character gleans, half century of R&B music, often staying to border or behind the scenes, but marking with clean and original line the American musical territory from the end of the years '50 to our days. Author, singer, producer, arranger, talent scout, manager and contagious showman, risen humanly and artistically in the 90s and today devoted, with the contribution of young companions, to a revitalising reinterpretation of his own art in actual key, here he tells his history: from the debuts as author at the Fortunes Records before and at the Motown and Chess then, to the collaborations with Stevie Wonder, O.W. Wright, The Contours, Ike & Tina Turner, Edwin Starr, Parliament and Funkadelic, up to the most recent solistic rediscovery. This film, very well realized, has the sure merit to throw for the first time, an ample bundle of light on this mysterious as unusual character, telling of him, now directly through the voice of Williams himself now through third, his more remote history as well as the more recent, on the report document of one year spent with him on the road, among interviews, confessions, concerts, excesses and testimonies.
We all are born young people, someone has the talent to stay young, but very few privileged also know how to rejuvenate with the time: Andre Williams, born in 1936, known also as Mr. Rhythm, with vivacity, creativeness and rare acrobatics, has known how to earn him the right to belong to every of the three categories above.  G.R.

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