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View All Eric Clapton: A Life in 12 Bars News
All Critics (35)
| Top Critics (6)
| Fresh (24)
| Rotten (11)
Clapton simply hasn't anything profound or insightful to say about these episodes that you don't already get from his music.
One of the saddest moments I've ever seen in a film comes more than halfway into Lili Fini Zanuck's Eric Clapton: A Life in 12 Bars.
The first hour is particularly noodly, presenting a lonely, isolated young Clapton finding solace in music.
As a musical biography, this comes up short; it plays substantially better as a story of recovery and recovered integrity.
The first 90 minutes or so here are gold ... even if fans might wish for more detail on the dizzying number of fabled bands Clapton formed and/or played with over a 10-year span.
A rock-doc less vibrant than most.
... Eric Clapton: Life In 12 Bars is a laborious viewing experiance, its glacial pace heightened by the film's over-reliance on still photography.
[Eric] Clapton emerges here as a person who has gone through hell and back and his storm-tossed journey, which is also a journey of music of the past 50 years, still rings with pathos and relevance.
Has all the usual signifiers of a baby boomer icon, but there's a remoteness at work that is both cold and diminishing. "It took all the pain away," Clapton says of discovering the blues as a child in 1950s England, and negation would become a pattern.
It's a great yarn. I just wish it was also a great film.
Photographs carry the story here, along with voices, rather than filmed interviews. Actually, it works.
Similar in style to Listen to Me Marlon, Asif Kapadia's Amy or Brett Morgan's Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck, Lili Fini Zanuck's look at life of Eric "Slowhand" Clapton offers plenty of visual treats and audio gems.
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