Rolling Stone magazine ranked the late Janis Joplin high on its list of “Greatest Singers and Greatest Artists of All Time.”
The iconic rock ‘n’ roller is now the subject of a new film, “Janis: Little Girl Blue,” which will be shown at Star Hall on Thursday, Aug. 18, at 7 p.m.
Well-known for her hit songs “Me and Bobby McGee” and “Piece of my Heart,” the soulful blues singer enjoyed huge success before her untimely death at age 27.
The Salt Lake City-based Utah Film Center and the Grand County Public Library collaborate to bring Moab audiences free film screenings monthly at Star Hall, which is located at 159 E. Center St.
Utah Film Center Moab coordinator Sallie Hodges said she and library assistant Jessie Magleby chose the documentary because they thought it was a perfect fit for a Moab audience and that it would appeal to all ages.
“I have seen the film and enjoyed it immensely,” Hodges said. “There is terrific footage covering not only her career but also when she was younger, lending insight into what inspired and ultimately shaped Janis’ life. She was a tortured genius and the film uncovers what could have been an averted tragedy.”
Magleby added that several of the film series’ regular moviegoers had recommended the “Janis” film, and organizers enjoy being able to show films that community members suggest.
“We are excited to bring to Moab this intimate look into the life of this vibrant and powerful woman,” Magleby said. “Janis was a fierce trailblazer for females in the rock ‘n’ roll world.”
Oscar-nominated director Amy Berg worked on the film for seven years. The film includes previously unpublished material, including letters Joplin wrote to her parents over the years. Her own words tell much of the film’s story, according to the movie’s website.
The documentary features archival footage, along with contemporary interviews with family, childhood friends, and musical colleagues such as Bob Weir of the Grateful Dead.
Despite her fame, the film shows that Joplin never fully recovered from feeling like she was a social outcast during her adolescent years growing up in Port Arthur, Texas. She found an outlet with the blues musical genre, and she discovered a home in the emerging hippie community of San Francisco.
The Janis Joplin documentary is one of more than 90 projects that the center supports in various stages of production, Utah Film Center Executive Director Elizabeth Nebecker said.
“This artist support, along with our education programs for teachers and students, are additional ways that Utah Film Center engages our community in the important stories that can be told through film to teach, inspire, open eyes and hearts to new places, ideas and people,” Nebecker said.
Film gives insight into the life of late soul singer Janis Joplin
What: “Janis: Little Girl Blue”
Where: Star Hall, 159 E. Center St.
When: Thursday, Aug. 18, at 7 p.m.
Information: moablibrary.org/639/Utah-Film-Circuit-Moab; 435-259-1111
We are excited to bring to Moab this intimate look into the life of this vibrant and powerful woman … Janis was a fierce trailblazer for females in the rock ‘n’ roll world.