Memphis – Sundance London Review


Tim Sutton’s Delphian portrayal of a blues musician’s decaying spirituality takes on the seemingly mismatched guise of both documentary filmmaking, and hyper-literate, auratic cinema.

The film follows the true-to-life Chicago-born musician Willis Earl Beal, as he slowly destroys his own genius through an overwhelming, unshakable apathy. As such, Sutton’s subtly morose illustration of the oft-times despondent aspects of the creative process fittingly mirrors Beal’s own authentic artistic difficulties. This internal frustration eventually begins to permeate the physical world of Memphis, ultimately resulting in a city that steadily becomes as dilapidated as Memphis’ inhabitants.

Tim Sutton’s experimental  arrangement of the “one-hit-wonder” thematically explores the guilt, grief and sadness of wasted talent; the melancholic descent to normalcy.




CAST: Willis Earl BealConstance BrantleyLarry Dodson

DIRECTOR: Tim Sutton

WRITER: Tim Sutton

SYNOPSIS: An enigmatic singer wanders the streets of Memphis in an effort to regain his source of inspiration. 


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