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5 Questions with Asif Kapadia

The director of Amy, Asif Kapadia, is a curious guy and a deep treat to interview. He really lays it out there, and is clever and engaging about his film. We sat down with Kapadia in a downtown hotel room at a table, and sat next to him to capture all of the wisdom about his film Amy.

Scene Creek: Why was it so important to have the songs onscreen?

Asif Kapadia: The songs were always going to be the spine, and in my mind it was going to be a musical. I really liked the acoustic performances.  Just her and a guitar. I just love her voice and the guitar. And the whole film is unraveling what the film is about. It’s like detective work. “Who’s she talking about.” “What does this mean?” “Who’s that?” And cross-referencing people and going back to the songs.

Scene Creek: Why are her lyrics so important?

Asif Kapadia: Read the lyrics. Understand what the person is singing about because she had something to say. It was all there, she was telling us everything about her relationship with men, her parents, the media, herself. Love is a Losing Game. Rehab. She was a method singer, she sang a different way every time depending on her mood.

Scene Creek: Why were the last few years of her life not included?

Asif Kapadia: We don’t deal with the final two years. But she died. And the films not about the then, because she didn’t write anything then. People kind of lost sight of her.

Scene Creek: How are we complicit in Amy Winehouse’s life?

Asif Kapadia: We are complicit because all the way through she’s talking to us, and we become kind of different people in the story relating to Amy. This is heavy stuff that we all somehow play a part in. I’m hoping that people see the film and that it’s uncomfortable but hopefully it will change a little bit.

Scene Creek: This film makes us think about how we treat people, and how we treat women.

Asif Kapadia: That is definitely one of the things between Senna (his previous film) and Amy. The way a guy is treated, the way a woman is treated by the media. Absolutely.