Alan Elliott has been working on Aretha Franklin documentary Amazing Grace for years upon years. With footage deemed unsalvageable, the subject herself suing the filmmaker, it was a project that seemed doomed to never see the light of the day. But with diligence and passion, Elliott kept on plugging away and eventually, and finally, the film recently his our screens. Yet in spite of all that hard work and the challenges that ensued – the director recently undertook his toughest ever career challenge: that’s right, he’s taken part in Hot Corn’s My Favourite Movies feature series.
What’s the first film you ever fell in love with? – The first film I ever fell in love with was Yellow Submarine. It was because of the music and the animation and the joy of The Beatles.
What’s the one film you never get tired of watching? – 2001: A Space Odyssey. I believe it has the same thing as in Amazing Grace, which is that there’s a certain silence to it, where you bring your own experience to it, and every time in a different way. It’s really almost like a silent movie.
What’s your favourite soundtrack? – One that I wish I had written would be Point Blank by Johnny Mandel.
What’s your guilty pleasure? – What would that be… I’ll get there. Well my daughter’s favourite movie is Mamma Mia! The only thing I can remember are Kubrick movies, why is that? Alright, so I’ll go with Grease. I just love listening to the band.
What’s the one scene that always makes you cry? – It would be a scene from my movie, when Aretha Franklin’s dad wipes her brow.
What’s your favourite ever music documentary? – Oh, it has to be Amazing Grace. I know how good it is, it’s the most premier doc of popular music ever made. It’s circled the block on the rest of them, and I don’t mind people knowing that either. People can talk about The Last Waltz, they can talk about whatever they want, but this is it.