Janis (film)

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Janis
Directed by Howard Alk
Written by Howard Alk, Seaton Findlay
Starring Janis Joplin
Cinematography Michael Wadleigh
Distributed by Universal Pictures
Release date(s)
  • October 18, 1974 (1974-10-18)
Running time 96 min.
Country Canada
Language English

Janis is a 1974 Canadian documentary film about the rock singer Janis Joplin. The film was directed by Howard Alk with a lot of assistance from Albert Grossman, Janis' manager. It was available on videocassette in the United States in the 1980s and 1990s, but DVD versions have been released only in France, Belgium and the Netherlands. In late 2011, it was added to Hulu's movie collection for online viewing. Part of the film soundtrack is included on the 1975 album Janis.

The film consists entirely of archival footage of Joplin.[1] It includes rehearsals, her June 25, 1970 appearance on The Dick Cavett Show, footage from her Woodstock performance in 1969 (dancing with her band's saxophone player during an instrumental break), and another television segment videotaped in black & white in April 1967 before she became famous.

A lot of screen time is devoted to Janis' 1969 European tour, including an interview with Janis during her stay in Stockholm and the ecstatic reaction of a clean-cut female fan in Frankfurt when she sees Joplin through the window of her tour bus before the concert starts. (The American fan, who reveals on camera that she is the wife of a U.S. Army officer stationed in Germany, is later seen with several German youths dancing on stage with Janis.)

Laura Joplin, the star's younger sister who contributed to the hit off-Broadway play Love, Janis (which was based on Laura's book of the same name), is seen and heard talking to Janis in interview footage from her ten-year school reunion at Thomas Jefferson High School in Port Arthur, Texas, class of 1960.

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