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Premiere of Amy Winehouse documentary is an emotional experience

At the beginning of the new documentary "Amy," about the talented and tragic Amy Winehouse, the late pop singer reveals, "I don't think I'm going to be at all famous. I don't think I could handle it. I would probably go mad.”

The film, which opens Friday, had a premiere last week at the ArcLight in Hollywood. Among the attendees were some of Winehouse's friends and colleagues as well as luminaries from the pop music world, including Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne and Diane Warren, and top record company executives such as Lucian Grainge, the Universal Music Group chairman, and Monte Lipman, Republic Records chairman and chief executive.

The death of the British singer, who died of alcohol poisoning in 2011, was clearly an emotional topic, and many of those in attendance at the premiere were reluctant to speak about her. But Nick Shymansky, who was Winehouse's first manager, remembered her as “really funny, full of charisma and talented."

“We were both young, life was good, the experience was great,” Shymansky said.

As Winehouse became a major star, she became more self-destructive. The documentary chronicles her battles with alcoholism and Britain's aggressive press. (The red carpet, which was packed with paparazzi, was its own ironic commentary on the movie.)

The film's director, fellow North Londoner Asif Kapadia, said at the premiere that the tabloid version of Winehouse's life doesn't tell the real story.

“I hope that when you watch the film you get the sense of the real Amy because that’s what we set out to do,” Kapadia said.

 

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