In the 1960s and 1970s, British vocalist Shirley Collins was one of the greats of the English folk revival. Her career ended abruptly and dramatically in the late 1970s when, after her husband had left her for another, a vocal disorder (dysphonia) prevented her from singing. Now in her eighties, Collins recently picked up where she left off with a surprising new album, her first since 1978. In this film, we see her, uncertain and self-critical, recording songs in her living room with a small group of musicians.

Alongside beautiful, sensitive images of her life in the Sussex countryside, this portrait of the engaging Collins consists of archival footage and reconstructions. The film also focuses on her journey through the American Deep South in the late 1950s with her partner at the time, musicologist Alan Lomax. Back then, together they made the famous Sounds of the South, recordings of often unknown folk and blues singers. 

Part of Scopitone Cafe, an eclectic mix of documentaries about music and how it is experienced. Stick around for a Q&A and live music by Fred Piek. The bar is open! Free admission on Tue 30 Jan.

Filmmaker
Rob Curry, Tim Plester
Premiere
International premiere
Country
United Kingdom
Year
2017
Medium
DCP
Length
94’
Language
English
Producer
Paul Williams, Rob Curry, Tim Plester
Production Company
Fifth Column Films, Burning Bridges
Sales
Burning Bridges
Cinematography
Richard Mitchell
Editor
Rob Curry, Tim Plester
Sound Design
Michael Wabro
Music
Ossian Brown, Michael York
Website
http://shirleycollinsmovie.com