George Michael: A Different Story

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George Michael: A Different Story
George Michael A Different Story poster.jpeg
British theatrical release poster
Directed bySouthan Morris[1]
Produced byCaroline True
StarringGeorge Michael
Music byGeorge Michael
CinematographyJohn Sorapure
Edited byDuncan Shepherd
Production
company
Aegean Films
Distributed byGorilla Entertainment Ltd[2]
Release date
  • 27 November 2004 (2004-11-27) (United Kingdom)
  • 16 February 2005 (2005-02-16) (Berlin)
Running time
93 minutes[3]
CountryUnited Kingdom
LanguageEnglish

George Michael: A Different Story is a 2004 documentary film about the English singer, songwriter and record producer George Michael. It follows Michael's life from joining Wham! in 1981, to the present-day covering his career as a solo artist including personal and professional gain and loss. The film is a British venture produced by Aegean Films with Gorilla Entertainment Limited serving as distributor.

Directed by Southan Morris, and produced by Caroline True. A Different Story was initially aired on British television channels BBC One and BBC Three. Despite this, the documentary had its European premiere as part of the 2005 Berlin Film Festival including a press conference on 16 February 2005. The film had a limited cinematic release in sixteen countries.[4][5][6]

Synopsis[edit]

The idea of a documentary evolved because of his former bandmate Andrew Ridgeley being prepared to speak on camera and his father also agreeing to be interviewed.[7] A Different Story begins with Michael on a promotional tour in Milan, Italy for the album Patience released earlier in the year, showing brief clips of Michael in a radio interview with fans outside chanting his name.

Filmed over a year, the film chronicles the most up to date events of Michael’s life, beginning with his childhood in Hertfordshire, England, reflecting on his time as part of Wham!, and the first on-screen interview together with Ridgeley since the split.[8]

"One way or another, I realised there was the potential here to make a really in-depth documentary about the timeline of my career".

- George Michael[9]

Michael discusses his success as a solo artist beginning in 1987 and the big impact of the successful album Faith which earned Michael a Grammy for Album of the Year in 1989 and the battles he had with the public and personal life including his sexuality. During the promotion of the album Michael states that he had been striving to have the same level of success as Michael Jackson and Madonna. However, during the interview he admits that as the Faith Tour ended and it started to fade, “I felt like I was going insane”.

It also touches briefly on the court case with Sony Music and the music business.

Other people interviewed for the film include his father Jack Panayiotou, David Austin, Mariah Carey, Geri Halliwell, Elton John, Sting, Noel Gallagher, Simon Cowell and Boy George.[10][11][12]

Release[edit]

An edited 90 minute version of A Different Story was first broadcast on British television channel BBC One in the UK on 27 November 2004, by Gorilla Entertainment Limited.[13][14] It was then aired on BBC Three with extra footage.[15][16] Following the broadcasts, the documentary was then screened at the 55th Berlin International Film Festival on the 16 February 2005 with a cinematic release in Germany on 12 January 2006.[17] The North American screening took place at Manhattan’s Tribeca Film Festival between the 25 April and the 7 May 2005.[18] The film was also part of the official selection at the Copenhagen and Rio de Janeiro Film Festivals.[19] The film was released in Japan on 23 December 2005.[20]

On 28 February 2006, the British Board of Film Classification announced that the film would receive a 15 certificate rating. It was given a UK limited cinema release on 6 March 2006.[21]

Marketing[edit]

George Michael arriving at Berlin’s Film Festival in 2005.

During promotion for the film Michael attended a photo op and press conference hosted by Robert Fischer at the Berlin Film Festival with director Southan Morris, producer Caroline True and executive producer and manager Andy Stephens.[22] On 5 December 2005 Michael attended the UK screening for the film, held at London’s Curzon Mayfair Cinema.[23] Michael also attended a press conference on 15 December 2005 held at the Tokyo Grand Hotel in Japan with a screening at the Bunkamura Le Cinéma.[24]

Broadcast[edit]

The documentary was first aired on British television on BBC One and BBC Three in 2004.[25][26]

Reception[edit]

Critical response[edit]

Eddie Cockrell of Variety wrote: "A candid, self-deprecating and altogether winning career-to-date overview, George Michael: A Different Story finds the witty and articulate pop star looking back with unblinking candor and wry humor."[27] Caroline Westbrook writing for Empire gave the film 3/5 stars, saying, "Michael himself comes across as a thoroughly decent bloke who's not afraid to talk candidly about coming to terms with his sexuality, the death of his mother and that headline-grabbing toilet incident."[28] The Sydney Morning Herald wrote "The feature film lays out Michael's life with no punches spared." They added "For Michael, the documentary - being screened at the Berlin festival - is a chance to put the record straight".[29] Mary Nyiri, writing for Kino Critics, said, "Even if you are not a fan of George Michael as a pop songwriter and lead singer, his story is entertaining and his bluntness refreshing", giving the film a 3/5 rating.[30]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ George Michael A Different Story (2005) www.bfi.org.uk
  2. ^ GEORGE MICHAEL: A DIFFERENT STORY Berlin Film Festival, 16 Feb 2005
  3. ^ GEORGE MICHAEL: A DIFFERENT STORY Berlin Film Festival, 16 Feb 2005
  4. ^ Southan Morris - Director at Storyvault films, London, United Kingdom
  5. ^ George Michael - A Different Story Berlin film festival press conference
  6. ^ GEORGE MICHAEL: A DIFFERENT STORY Berlin Film Festival, 16 Feb 2005
  7. ^ George Michael steps back into spotlight - BNC 6 December 2005
  8. ^ George Michael: A Different Story - Eddie Cockrell, March 16, 2005
  9. ^ George Michael steps back into spotlight - By Ian Youngs
  10. ^ Singer's film to show at festival | BBC
  11. ^ GEORGE MICHAEL - A DIFFERENT STORY (2006) - British Board of Film Classification
  12. ^ George Michael: A Different Story - Eddie Cockrell, March 16, 2005
  13. ^ Broadcast - On the 27th of November 2004, BBC 1 showed an hour long documentary of George Michael. The documentary is entitled 'A different story' featuring candid interviews with George.
  14. ^ Southan Morris - Director at Storyvault films, London, United Kingdom, Aegean Films for BBC 1, 2004 – 2004. George Michael - A Different Story (BBC 1) 90 minute film.
  15. ^ George Michael: A Different Story MARCH 16, 2005
  16. ^ George Michael: A Different Story Review | Movie - Empire
  17. ^ George Michael: A Different Story - Cinema.de
  18. ^ George Michael: A Different Story | Tribeca Film Festival, FEATURE DOCUMENTARY 95 Minutes North American Premiere
  19. ^ Southan Morris - Director at Storyvault films, London, United Kingdom
  20. ^ [George Michael: A Different Story (in Japanese)
  21. ^ GEORGE MICHAEL - A DIFFERENT STORY (2006) - British Board of Film Classification
  22. ^ GEORGE MICHAEL - A DIFFERENT STORY Berlin Press Conference, Wednesday Feb 16, 2005
  23. ^ George Michael steps back into spotlight - By Ian Youngs
  24. ^ Premiere: British pop star George Michael and his partner Kenny Goss attend the Japanese Premiere of his film ‘A Different Story’ on December 15, 2005 in Tokyo, Japan. The fim will open on December 23 in Japan
  25. ^ Southan Morris - Director at Storyvault films, London, United Kingdom
  26. ^ George Michael: A Different Story Review | Movie - Empire
  27. ^ George Michael: A Different Story - variety.com, Eddie Cockrell, March 16, 2005
  28. ^ George Michael: A Different Story Review | Movie - Empire
  29. ^ George Michael's dark secret | February 18, 2005
  30. ^ KinoCritics.com Review of George Michael - A Different Story, 2005

External links[edit]