Memphis, the city in the south of the US that is synonymous with Elvis and his home turned mandatory tourist destination — Graceland. Despite Elvis’ infamy, which ended with a heart attack on a plate of fried peanut butter and banana sandwiches coupled with years of drugs and alcohol abuse, let’s not forget that he also gifted the world with a rock’n’roll legacy that cemented his status as the King; turning the previously niche black genre into a whitewashed mainstream commodity. But besides that blatantly stereotypical example of Memphis’ musical heritage, there are also other greats such as BB King, Aretha Franklin, and Johnny Cash. Makes sense that indie filmmaker Tim Sutton, whose debut movie Pavilion also relied heavily on its location, chose the city as the backdrop of his eponymous sophomore.
But what makes Memphis worthy of a mention here on JUICE is the fact that our favourite outsider lo-fi musician, and sometimes artist, Willis Earl Beal, not only stars in it but also provides the soundtrack. While he wasn’t born anywhere near the state of Tennessee, Beal’s cinematic enigma is a natural fit for a film that thrives on the vérité of its premise — it helps that his music is emblematic of the mythic quality that surrounds the city’s canon of legends.
Scored to Beal’s ‘Too Dry to Cry‘, thumping hauntingly along with images depicting solitude, religion, tenderness, self-discovery, and a whole lot of grimy rock’n’roll, the trailer promises potential. Watch it below:
Find out more about the movie here.