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Documentary "Amy" Shows Tragic Life of A Talented Singer Cut Short

Bryan Bedder/Getty Images
Amy Winehouse performing at the Virgin Festival in 2007.

When the singer Amy Winehouse died of alcohol poisoning in 2011, she became just the latest example of a musician on a seemingly promising trajectory to have their life cut short by drugs or alcohol.

The new documentary, Amy, uses footage ranging from cell phone video to traditional interviews to tell the story of a career - and life - cut short. The film has already generated controversy for its depiction of Winehouse's dad, who was unhappy with how his material was edited together.  The movie is also getting some appreciation for its unapologetic presentation of its subjects.

The movie is the subject of Dan Harmon's interview with Lake Effect movie contributor, Dave Luhrssen.  "I left the movie being more aware of her talent than I was before seeing the movie." Luhrssen said. "The problems in her life just worsened as stardom increased."

Luhrssen compares Winehouse's interest in celebrity to that of the late Nirvana lead singer Kurt Cobain. "She was not really interest initially in being a celebrity and was not comfortable with it and maybe, not unlike Kurt Cobain for example, she didn't know how to deal with it."

Dan Harmon was one of the original members of Lake Effect (formerly At Ten). He started at WUWM in November of 1998 and left December of 2015 after 17 years of production.
David Luhrssen is arts and entertainment editor of the Shepherd Express, co-founder of the Milwaukee International Film Festival and co-author of A Time of Paradox: America Since 1890. He is the winner of the Pace Setter Award for contributions to Milwaukee's film community from the Milwaukee Independent Film Society. David Luhrssen has taught at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design and Milwaukee Area Technical College.