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| 8 February 2019 | Reply

MVD Visual
November 2017
Reviewed by Shane Pinnegar

I came into this film a complete Lydia Loveless neophyte, and left 112 minutes later a converted fan. Gorman Bechard’s documentary lays Loveless – Lydia Ankrom to her Mom back in Ohio – bare, in all her contrary, difficult, talented glory.

In many ways Loveless could never have been anything than a star – a very niche, cult, alt-country star, but a star nonetheless. Fiercely independent to the point of being difficult to work with, the film depicts Loveless’ band as determinedly loyal regardless, especially bassist and husband Ben Lamb, who is equally honest and forthcoming on screen as his missus.

Whilst documenting the making of her album over a six month period, Bechard helps us get to know a lot about who Loveless is, and in addition to that – and this really sets Who Is Lydia Loveless apart from most docos – he delves deep into the financial reality of a mid-level band like this in the fucked up world which is the music industry in the 2010s.
Things come to a frenzied climax on the road when Loveless scales the amps during the song Boy Crazy, then falling and giving herself a nasty injury.

It’s a fascinating watch, full of highs and lows, triumphs and disasters, laughs and tears, and Loveless comes across as a passionate but dangerous person, relentlessly driven to make her art, but predisposed to sabotage, deliberate or otherwise. This drives her art, of course, but it also causes friction, and it’s sad to realise that after the film was released she and Lamb separated.


Category: Movie & Theatre Reviews

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