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Writer/director of Hendrix film corrects stories

The other day I wrote what I could gleam from another article about a new film that could be heading our way about the legendary Jimi Hendrix called Slide. There wasn't much to go on, and frankly what there was concerned me, it sounded like it was going to have little to do with Hendrix and turn the character into something not quite what fans would want to see.

Well it seems that article was full of inaccuracies as I had an email conversation from the writer and director of the film R.H. Greene, a very nice chap who was a little miffed at the portrayal of his film, and quite rightly so, and wanted to put the record straight.

Let me just leap into what he originally said to me in response to the article:

”Thank you so much for your interest in my upcoming film SLIDE.

Some of the initial coverage used the word "fiction" to describe this project, so it's probably inevitable to see it here, and certainly nobody's fault. After digging into the various (actual) accounts of Jimi's kidnapping and dramatizing what seemed to me the most likely sequence of events, I want to say that this initial report was a simplification bordering on inaccuracy.

The finished script is actually inspired by a pervasive story that has circulated for 40 years saying that Jimi Hendrix was kidnapped shortly after his performance at Woodstock and held for several days. I did extensive research on Jimi, the incident itself and the period, and discovered among other things that Jimi had told two of his closest associates (including his fiancee) it was true, though their accounts of what Jimi said happened varied. The details died with the participants, but there's strong circumstantial evidence something occurred, and the known facts, including the actual murder of a Hendrix associate during the same time period, have all been adhered to in SLIDE.

SLIDE is therefore much more grounded in actual events than, say, LAST KING OF SCOTLAND, to name a terrific film that blends real events and actual personages with created characters. And Jimi is onscreen at least as much as any other character.

Additional reports that Jimi teaches one of his kidnappers some sort of a life lesson are news to me. Nothing like that is in the script, and nothing like that will be in the movie.

It's inevitable that reporting on something that hasn't happened yet will contain speculation, so no harm no foul. Still, at this point in the process, I'm pretty much the only one who in a sense has seen the movie. So I thought it would be a good thing to add my voice to the dialogue.

Despite the fact that SLIDE necessarily contains conjecture and speculation (for no definitive version of this story exists), I promise to do my best to make the movie and the depiction of Jimi within it as truthful as humanly possible.”

For everyone to note the original article that I referred to for the story was in The Hollywood Reporter, a trade news source (apparently!) and one that I prefer to read and mention over Variety. You can read that story here on Filmstalker, but that's far from what the film will be about, and it's certainly better to hear the words direct from the writer/director than anyone else.

A big thanks to Mr Greene for putting that story straight both on Filmstalker and his own site, and I'm glad to say that it sounds far more interesting than the originally reported story. This does sound like it's going to be more about Jimi Hendrix than any feature we've seen to date, and so the next question will be who to play the best guitarist of all time.



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