2 November 2015 | adrianotedde
A gem for music lovers
"Under the Influence" is an intimate portrait of Keith Richards, the music lover. It is highly recommended to Rolling Stones fans and music aficionados. After over fifty years of Richards's career in pop music, this is the film that finally describes the music that made the man avoiding all the sex, drugs and rock'n'roll gossip. It is a significant and welcomed change from decades of accounts tainted by a meaningless narrative of debauchery that satisfied the lowest of rock'n'roll fans' desires and kept many others hungry for good and true music story. The 81 minutes of the film go very fast in a journey that brings the viewer through the main genres of American popular music: blues, country, rock'n'roll. Richards visits New York, Chicago and Nashville and recounts his fascination for American music and his encounters with the legends that inspired the Stones, from Muddy Waters to Howlin' Wolf and Chuck Berry. The interview briefly covers several other aspects of the musician's work like song-writing, recording processes, solo career and the use of different instruments. The film contains also precious footage of studio recordings with Tom Waits and Richards's house sessions in Jamaica with the Wingless Angels. Richards in his short, sometimes convoluted, phrases conveys all the devotion and deep appreciation for what music can bring into one's life. A strong sense of the passing of time and mortality brings in another novelty for a Stones documentary and makes Keith Richards's testimony somehow touching. Great little film on a great music soul.