Hen­drix biopic shelved for an­other few months

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - NEWS - By Don­ald Clarke dclarke@irish­times.com

John Ri­d­ley’s All is by My Side, the Ir­ish co-pro­duc­tion ex­am­in­ing in­ci­dents in the life of Jimi Hen­drix, seems to have been float­ing about the ether for aeons. Star­ring An­dré Ben­jamin as the great gui­tarist, the pic­ture screened to very re­spectable re­views at last Septem­ber’s Toronto In­ter­na­tional Film Fes­ti­val, but will not be with us un­til au­tumn of this year.

Some con­tro­versy is, how­ever, at­tach­ing it­self to Ri­d­ley’s film be­fore this week’s US re­lease. Hen­drix’s for­mer girl­friend Kathy Etch­ing­ham (played by Hay­ley Atwell in the pic­ture) has popped up to say that scenes in which Jimi is vi­o­lent to­wards her are with­out foun­da­tion.

“It’s just com­pletely made up,” she said in an in­ter­view with the Syd­ney Morn­ing Herald. “Ap­par­ently, I am por­trayed in the film as a groupie. That’s just sex­ist non­sense. It borders on misog­yny. Why would any­body want to show do­mes­tic vi­o­lence as en­ter­tain­ment?” Etch­ing­ham rather un­der­mined her own case by ad­mit­ting she had yet to see All is By My Side.

The movie has had other trou­bles. The film-mak­ers were un­able to use any orig­i­nal mu­sic, but most crit­ics at Toronto felt they still man­aged to pull off a coup.

“It de­liv­ers a Jimi Hen­drix ex­pe­ri­ence some­how the richer for sidelin­ing the man and sub­vert­ing his mu­sic,” the Guardian raved. Hav­ing re­ceived an Os­car for writ­ing 12 Years a Slave since then, Ri­d­ley is now hot property and his film will surely at­tract even greater at­ten­tion.

An­dré Ben­jamin as Hen­drix

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