Gospel According to Al Green (VHS) ~ Al Green (actor) and Robert... Cover Art

Gospel According to Al Green (VHS)

Al Green (actor) and Robert Mugge (director)


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Review

Gospel According to Al Green is a fascinating 1984 documentary about soul music's most insinuating singer, Al Green. Directed by Robert Mugge, it captures an expansive Green talking about his career and performing in front of a military crowd in a hotel ballroom. Green's high, seductive voice, passionate performing style, and sinewy stage presence make the musical sections of the film compelling--even if you're not a fan of gospel music. Because, at this particular juncture in his career, that's what Green was performing, though the songs have the slow-boiling insistence of his best soul songs. In the interview segments, Green talks about how he wrote his songs and the religious conversion experience he underwent that caused him to put his pop-music career aside and serve the Lord--and how, when he gets cooking onstage, people don't seem to care that when he's singing about "Love and Happiness," he's praising God's name, rather than singing to a woman. Green, notoriously press-shy, is remarkably open discussing his tragic encounter with a spurned lover, who dumped boiling grits on him and then killed herself. --Marshall Fine


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