With the 16th edition of New York’s largest cinematic event, Tribeca Film Festival, just now nearing its halfway point, a handful of films already are earning early buzz.
One of those, unsurprisingly is Clive Davis: Soundtrack of Our Lives, which has been snapped up by Apple Music.
The documentary biopic of music impresario Clive Davis kicked off the festival with a packed screening at Radio City Music Hall, followed immediately by live performances by artists discovered, or re-discovered, by the music executive with the “golden ears,” including Barry Manilow, Dionne Warwick, Jennifer Hudson, Carly Simon and – wait for it – Aretha Franklin (in a rare performance).
Chris Perkel’s film is a paean to the 85-year-old, rolling through his career as a young corporate attorney who stumbled into the music business to his glory days with the likes of all of the aforementioned but also Billy Joel, Janis Joplin, The Grateful Dead, The Kinks, Santana, Aerosmith, etc., etc., etc.
Glimmers of a more interesting man than mere star-maker briefly surface – Davis was the first major corporate executive to publicly announce he was bi-sexual – but they’re quickly glossed over so as not to put a damper on the party.
To be sure, there are other record label executives who rank in the hall of fame of music influentials: Berry Gordy, Ahmet Ertegun, David Geffen, Richard Branson, Mo Austin, Jimmy Iovine, Chris Blackwell, Herb Alpert and Jerry Moss all come to mind.
Still, for sheer longevity and diversity of artists – truly, rap to western – no one quite compares to Clive Davis, as the film aptly underscores.