TEN STARS FOR BILLIE, MINUS TWENTY STARS FOR QUALITY
NYC Music Lover | New York, NY United States | 06/04/2008
(1 out of 5 stars)
"First off, this is NOT the DVD of the Diana Ross movie "Lady Sings The Blues". It's a compilation of rare performance footage by the amazingly gifted jazz legend Billie Holiday herself. There are rare clips from various (unidentified) TV appearances, plus clips from the few films she appeared in. That's the good news. The bad news is that this DVD is absolutely the WORST quality DVD I've ever seen. We're talking really, really poor footage, worse than a bootleg. I own third or fourth generation VHS tapes that look better than this. I'm not sure what the people who created this mess had in mind, but a good-looking picture is obviously at the bottom of their list! Here's Billie singing in a film short very early in her career, with videotape "tracking" all through the song. Here's Billie in the film "New Orleans", with FRENCH subtitles all through the footage. Here's Billie singing "My Man" on some TV show, but they cut out the first few lines of the song. Oh wait, it doesn't matter, because they also cut out the last two minutes of the song!!!!!. Here's black & white footage that's so yellowed it looks as if Billie and her musicians all have Hepatitis! And on and on. Granted, there are a few performances on this DVD that I've never seen before, and some of them are indeed complete and watchable. But if you are expecting even anything remotely resembling a professional quality product, boy are you in for a letdown. I've got 99 cent Public Domain DVD's that look like "Blade Runner" compared to this! If you're a diehard Billie fan you might want this just for the rare footage. But if you are mildly curious to see performance clips of Billie, you'd be way better off purchasing the Universal compilation "Billie Holiday: The Ultimate Collection" DVD."