The acclaimed 2015 Janis Joplin documentary Janis: Little Girl Blue will get its television premiere tonight, May 3, as part of PBS’ long-running American Masters series. The film takes an intimate look at the legendary blues-rock singer’s turbulent life, her rise to stardom and her tragic death from a heroin overdose at age 27 in October 1970.
Janis: Little Girl Blue delves into the contrast between Joplin’s larger-than-life stage persona and her insecurities and search for acceptance in her private life. The film includes interviews with Joplin’s family members, friends, musical collaborators and famous fans, as well as previously unseen footage and archival clips of Janis’ appearances at such historic events as the Monterey Pop and Woodstock festivals.
Among the celebrities who appear in the documentary are The Grateful Dead‘s Bob Weir, Kris Kristofferson, Melissa Etheridge, Pink, Juliette Lewis, talk-show host Dick Cavett and Joplin’s Big Brother and the Holding Company band mates Peter Albin, Sam Andrew and Dave Getz.
The movie is narrated by indie-rock singer/songwriter Chan Marshall, a.k.a. Cat Power, who is featured reading passages from Joplin’s personal letters to her family, lovers and friends throughout the flick. The film was directed, written and produced by Amy Berg, whose previous work includes West of Memphis and the Oscar-nominated Deliver Us from Evil.
“The only way to tell Janis’ story was through Janis’ voice,” Berg explains. Her letters show the vulnerable artist, daughter and lover Janis was in her short but impactful life.”
Janis: Little Girl Blue airs at 8 p.m. ET/7 p.m. CT on PBS. You can check out some clips and an outtake from the film at the American Masters PBS YouTube channel.
The movie also is scheduled to be released on DVD and Blue-ray on Wednesday, May 4.
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