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  1. #1
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    In new documentary Dionne remains “elusive”


  2. #2
    I'm avoiding reading this review for now, since we have a virtual ticket from TIFF to watch the doc at home on Wednesday, but it's disappointing to read this headline. I had a similar feeling when I read her autobiography years ago. It was a very glossed over, surface-level account. Hopefully I will feel differently about the new doc.

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    Thanks for the info [and review] about the Dionne Warwick Doc. Even if she "remains elusive" in the film, I look forward to seeing it [hopefully the documentary will show up on streaming].

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    I hope it gets a streaming home soon as well. But, Yahoo! News… “Psycho Friends Hotline”?!??? Really??!??

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    here is another review to get a more rounded opinion of the documentary.

    https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/mo...ke-1235012228/

    I hope it streams too, but would like to see it in a theatre. Recently found a nearby theatre where I saw a documentary last week,. so there is hope.

    Carlo, do yo have plans to see it. If so, you'll probably be the first , so please share your review with us.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sansradio View Post
    I hope it gets a streaming home soon as well. But, Yahoo! News… “Psycho Friends Hotline”?!??? Really??!??
    They don't call themselves "Yahoo" for nothing....
    Honestly, I don't know why so many folks think anyone, especially any celebrated sucessful female entertainer, going to publicly surrender all of the details of the greatest
    struggles and failures of their lives. As blunt as she was, I bet even Chaka Khan held some of her cards. Everybody wants that "tea"! LOL! Better enjoy whatever lemonade
    or glass of milk Mama's serving and move on...

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    Quote Originally Posted by sansradio View Post
    I hope it gets a streaming home soon as well. But, Yahoo! News… “Psycho Friends Hotline”?!??? Really??!??
    Yeah, they really messed up on that one. Also this spelling blooper makes Dionne look bad for sponsoring something like the 'Psycho Friends Hotline' [there's more than enough misinformation out there].

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    I just read another review. I did not know that she did background for the 4 Tops. The documentary has a story of her telling a waitress to shove the food up her ass when Dionne was told that she wasn't allowed to sit in a whites only restaurant.

    And When on tour in Europe, her album was being promoted with a white woman on the cover. She took it all in stride, but was pissed about it.

    She credits Marlene Dietrich for exposing her to high fashion clothing. Marlene thought Dionne's wardrobe was trash and took her shopping for high fashion clothing. After that exposure, Dionne only wore the best clothes.

    I am looking forward to seeing this documentary.

    https://deadline.com/2021/09/dionne-...ff-1234831179/

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    Quote Originally Posted by milven View Post
    I just read another review. I did not know that she did background for the 4 Tops.

    https://deadline.com/2021/09/dionne-...ff-1234831179/
    I read this article a few days back but I think they made a mistake re the Four Tops. She was singing background for the Drifters' MEXICAN DIVORCE when she was discovered by Bacharach.

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    Quote Originally Posted by reese View Post
    I read this article a few days back but I think they made a mistake re the Four Tops. She was singing background for the Drifters' MEXICAN DIVORCE when she was discovered by Bacharach.
    Thanks for that. I knew about her background work for the Drifters, but it didn't make sense that she would have done background work for the 4 Tops unless it was before they signed to Motown. So when I read the article, I just assumed it was her doing background singing for an unknown group who later became the Motown 4 Tops.

    Thanks for the clarification of the author's probable mistake

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    Quote Originally Posted by splanky View Post
    They don't call themselves "Yahoo" for nothing....
    Honestly, I don't know why so many folks think anyone, especially any celebrated sucessful female entertainer, going to publicly surrender all of the details of the greatest
    struggles and failures of their lives. As blunt as she was, I bet even Chaka Khan held some of her cards. Everybody wants that "tea"! LOL! Better enjoy whatever lemonade
    or glass of milk Mama's serving and move on...
    I have a copy of Dionne's auto-biography, My Life As I See It, and she serves up just enough details about her life & career for me in that book. This documentary should be a nice compliment to it [and again, I'm hoping that one of the streaming services that I use will carry it]. And I agree with you; I don't need a lot of 'tea' and I'll more than happy with whatever Dionne chooses to include in her documentary.


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    Not sure about the new doc, we did one two years ago for PBS with her. I've known Ms. Warwick through her family connection the Drinkard Sisters and my grandfather's record label, Savoy since I can remember.

    She's always been a very warm, very open, very sweet, classy and super smart business woman. I adore her as a person. Anytime I've done the tv concert shows she's always been there for us, hosting R&B 40 and others for us and more. I've never seen anything but pure kind wonderful professionalism and a woman who knows what she wants and how she needs it. Always open to suggestion and direction and a genuine real Jersey girl too.

    I love her - and have never found any difficulty what-so-ever producing.directing her for my tv projects, specials and documentaries. I've worked with her closely on these projects for about 25 years. Dionne is in a class of their own and wonderful to work with.

    TJ Lubinsky
    Exec Producer/Director
    My Music as seen on PBS
    exec producer, Ed Sullivan & Murray The K archives
    as seen on PBS

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    Quote Originally Posted by tjl View Post
    Not sure about the new doc, we did one two years ago for PBS with her. I've known Ms. Warwick through her family connection the Drinkard Sisters and my grandfather's record label, Savoy since I can remember.

    She's always been a very warm, very open, very sweet, classy and super smart business woman. I adore her as a person. Anytime I've done the tv concert shows she's always been there for us, hosting R&B 40 and others for us and more. I've never seen anything but pure kind wonderful professionalism and a woman who knows what she wants and how she needs it. Always open to suggestion and direction and a genuine real Jersey girl too.

    I love her - and have never found any difficulty what-so-ever producing.directing her for my tv projects, specials and documentaries. I've worked with her closely on these projects for about 25 years. Dionne is in a class of their own and wonderful to work with.

    TJ Lubinsky
    Exec Producer/Director
    My Music as seen on PBS
    exec producer, Ed Sullivan & Murray The K archives
    as seen on PBS
    T.J., color me late--I never made the connection between you and the legendary Herman Lubinsky! Small wonder that you're such a champion of classic R&B!

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    I have told this story on here before but due to the lateness of the hour, I will give an abbreviated repeat version. In the spring of 1983 I think it was, Dionne attended her nephew's graduation from military school here in my small Virginia town. Although her attendance was not publicized in any way, I received a tip from a friend that she would be there.

    So I waited at an appropriate time, and approached her during a private family event with an album jacket and asked for an autograph. My rationale for doing it was that at the time I never thought I would have the chance to ever see her in a concert setting, much less speak to her in person. [[I have since attended maybe 8-10 shows.)

    Anyway, since she was on her own time, she could have reacted almost any way imaginable to my request. But she was personable, signed the album, and she actually thanked ME instead of the other way around. I remember it to this day and of course still have the autographed album.

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    I love hearing good stories about our beloved performers! My guess is that Dionne [[and perhaps others) react in less-than-favorable ways only when approaching fans are less-than respectful or when working conditions are not as have been previously agreed-upon.

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    Quote Originally Posted by daviddesper View Post
    I have told this story on here before but due to the lateness of the hour, I will give an abbreviated repeat version. In the spring of 1983 I think it was, Dionne attended her nephew's graduation from military school here in my small Virginia town. Although her attendance was not publicized in any way, I received a tip from a friend that she would be there.

    So I waited at an appropriate time, and approached her during a private family event with an album jacket and asked for an autograph. My rationale for doing it was that at the time I never thought I would have the chance to ever see her in a concert setting, much less speak to her in person. [[I have since attended maybe 8-10 shows.)

    Anyway, since she was on her own time, she could have reacted almost any way imaginable to my request. But she was personable, signed the album, and she actually thanked ME instead of the other way around. I remember it to this day and of course still have the autographed album.
    Great story! I must ask - what was she wearing?

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    Quote Originally Posted by daviddesper View Post
    still have the autographed album.
    Which album was it?

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by milven View Post
    Carlo, do yo have plans to see it. If so, you'll probably be the first , so please share your review with us.
    Hi Milven, yes I just watched the documentary tonight. I was able to buy a 'virtual pass' to watch it at home, through the Toronto Film Festival. This is the second year they are doing both screenings in person, at their theaters, and at home, due to the pandemic.

    The documentary was nice, but being a big Dionne fan, I was not wowed by it. There were some moments scattered throughout that I found entertaining or interesting, as Dionne has always had a fun way of telling stories, with a flair of personality. They did spend a lot of time recounting historical, cultural and political moments throughout the documentary, which were relevant to her career and endeavours, such as the significance of the Apollo Theater, civil rights, AIDS, etc. That was fine, but I felt that they could have done more to balance those moments with more personal elements, relating directly to Dionne. It was this, mixed with the longer musical clips of her, that made me feel like they were trying to pad out the documentary, to fill up time. I walked away from it, wishing they would have done more with this documentary. Heck, they even interviewed Burt Bacharach and barely talked about the origins of her biggest songs. There was a lot of repetition and focus on her cross-over appeal and how she broke down barriers within the industry. For a documentary that took five years, I was hoping they'd have done more research and gone deeper with things. I would have been curious to hear more about her thoughts on different things. Certain people like Smokey Robinson and Chuck Jackson seemed to get a lot of screen time. There is some nice rare archival footage featured throughout, of Dionne in the studio and in concert, a lot of which I had never seen before. They skipped right past the 70's entirely. No mention of her Warner Bros years, nor the lawsuit/fallout with Burt and Hal. I was surprised they mentioned the Psychic Friends Network, but it was a very quick mention, with a brief clip and her son talking about how his Mom has struggled, like anyone else. I was also surprised that she briefly mentioned her bankruptcy. There was no discussion on her life-long love for Brazil, or how she briefly became Dionne Warwick'e'.

    I don't regret watching it, but it almost felt like an A&E Biography instead of a true documentary, and it felt a bit impersonal. There were just enough redeeming moments for me to make it worth watching. In the end, I feel like they should have given much more screen time to Dionne, so she could have told her story, in her own words. That being said, this documentary focuses on Dionne's enduring influence and legacy, and I'm glad she is finally getting her dues.
    Last edited by carlo; 09-15-2021 at 11:14 PM.

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    To answer the questions above.........this graduation took place at a church that had a large front porch. So when the people filed out, I spotted her immediately in a bright red cocktail length dress. The disappointing part to me at the time was that she immediately went to a corner of the porch and lit up a cigarette. So at the time I was interacting with her, the cigarette was dangling from her lips.

    The album was the 1972 Dionne album. I chose it because it had ample space on the back for the autograph.

    As I said this was spring of 1983 and I have often wondered if Whitney was also there, because the graduate would have been either her cousin or her brother I would assume and of course she would have been around 17 and not yet fully engaged in her career.

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    Carlo, thank you so much for your detailed and informative review. I saw your post above and tried to get a virtual ticket from TIFF too, but they are only available in Canada so again thanks for taking the time to review it here. When it is available here, I will see it either in a theatre or streaming. I'm sure that I will enjoy it, but I feel that after seeing it, my opinion will probably reflect yours. Thanks again

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    Quote Originally Posted by daviddesper View Post
    To answer the questions above.........this graduation took place at a church that had a large front porch. So when the people filed out, I spotted her immediately in a bright red cocktail length dress. The disappointing part to me at the time was that she immediately went to a corner of the porch and lit up a cigarette. So at the time I was interacting with her, the cigarette was dangling from her lips.

    The album was the 1972 Dionne album. I chose it because it had ample space on the back for the autograph.

    As I said this was spring of 1983 and I have often wondered if Whitney was also there, because the graduate would have been either her cousin or her brother I would assume and of course she would have been around 17 and not yet fully engaged in her career.
    What a nice memory and story! Regarding the smoking, well ... I understand, but I have to say that I sometimes think 'if only' smoking were the worst vice of Amy, Whitney and my beloved Janis [[as well as many others).

  22. #22
    My pleasure, Milven. I hope you enjoy the documentary. Please share your review, once you see it, as I would also be curious to read your thoughts. I seem to remember reading on one of Dionne's social media posts that after the initial screening is over through TIFF, it will be immediately available on other digital platforms. I'm guessing it should be available for viewing in the next week or so.

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    Toronto Film Festival gave out awards last night and Dionne got a Special Tributes Award for her documentary
    SPECIAL TRIBUTE AWARD

    Dionne Warwick, Dionne Warwick: Don’t Make Me Over


    I've been checking to see if it is available anywhere here and nothing so far, but I will keep checking

    This TIFF award for Jessica Chastain as best actress as Tammy Faye Baker interested me too, as I had just seen the movie yesterday and she was great in the part. There is already talk of an Oscar for her. I used to watch the Tammy and Jim Baker PTL show on occasion just to make fun of them and the suckers who sent them money. But I enjoyed the movie and came home and rented the documentary. But now, I am way off subject

    TIFF TRIBUTE ACTRESS AWARD

    Jessica Chastain, The Eyes of Tammy Faye

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  25. #25
    Sounds like they will probably be delaying the general release of this doc, as it's now been picked up by the Montclair Film Festival in NJ for the coming month, with a special screening on Oct 23, where Dionne and the makers of the doc will be present for a Q&A.

    https://montclairfilm.org/events/mon...al-screenings/

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by carlo View Post
    Sounds like they will probably be delaying the general release of this doc, as it's now been picked up by the Montclair Film Festival in NJ for the coming month, with a special screening on Oct 23, where Dionne and the makers of the doc will be present for a Q&A.

    https://montclairfilm.org/events/mon...al-screenings/
    Cool for me, Carlo! I live about 20 minutes from Montclair.

  27. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by PeaceNHarmony View Post
    Cool for me, Carlo! I live about 20 minutes from Montclair.
    That's awesome! Keep us posted!

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    Quote Originally Posted by carlo View Post
    Sounds like they will probably be delaying the general release of this doc, as it's now been picked up by the Montclair Film Festival in NJ for the coming month, with a special screening on Oct 23, where Dionne and the makers of the doc will be present for a Q&A.

    https://montclairfilm.org/events/mon...al-screenings/
    Thanks for this info. I, too, only live about ten minutes away from the festival. In fact Venus' vet is on the same block as the festival When i saw this post, I ordered tickets on the first available day, and we got tickets in orchestra center , 2d row. Maybe a little close for a movie, but such a delight when Dionne and the director came on stage after the movie and were interviewed by Stephen Colbert.

    I did wind up agreeing with some of the criticism that your review contained, but it did not take away from my complete enjoyment of the film. I do wish they could have spent a little more time on some the negative parts of her career to make the documentary more balanced. In the Stephen Colbert interview after the movie, the director said that he would have had to do ten documentaries to get her entire life in. [[Or maybe he could have left out some of the padding that you mentioned, and expanded on some of the overlooked parts).

    I always liked Dionne and her music, but watching the documentary, and seeing and hearing her in person made me appreciate her and her music even more. She seemed humble and grateful with the platitudes that she was receiving. There was no Q & A from the audience, just the interview with Stephen Colbert.

    However, after the interview and event was over and Dionne, Steve and the director were about to leave the stage, the guy sitting in the first row in front of me kind of shouted out a question or request to Dionne. Stephen, who was right in front of the questioner told him that they were not taking questions. But Dionne, who was now un-miked acknowledged the audience member, and listened to his question or statement and responded to it.

    Sadly, even though the guy was in front of me, I did not here his statement or question. nor did I here Dionne's response. Nevertheless, I thought it was gracious that she halted her exit from the stage in order to listen and answer his question or statement. It must have been important to him because even though Stephen told him they were not doing questions, the guy kind of shouted out for Dionne's attention and she stopped, listened and responded. Kinda nice.

    When this doc is available for streaming, I will watch it again. And thanks again Carlo for giving me the info. I was aware of the festival but not aware of the last minute Dionne addition til I read it here.

    PS She mentioned something about a film biography in the works and even someone who may be playing her, but I just did a search and found nothing. Does anyone know anything about this?

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by milven View Post

    PS She mentioned something about a film biography in the works and even someone who may be playing her, but I just did a search and found nothing. Does anyone know anything about this?
    At one point, LeToya Luckett was supposed to be playing Dionne. More recently, Teyana Taylor has been mentioned as having the role.
    Last edited by reese; Today at 05:39 PM.

  30. #30
    Thanks for sharing your review of the doc and for sharing details of the evening, Milven! I had seen photos from last night of Dionne with Stephen Colbert and had wondered if you had ended up attending. I'm glad to hear that you did! My husband watches Stephen Colbert from time to time and said he seemed to recall that Stephen once mentioned that he is a fan of Dionne's. I am guessing this may have been why he agreed to interview her at the premiere last night?

    Yes, the last I had heard, Teyana Taylor was cast to play Dionne in a biopic series that they are pitching to Netflix.

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