The Agony and the Ecstasy of Phil Spector
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The Agony and the Ecstasy of Phil Spector
Love him or hate him, Phil Spector owned a legacy claimed by few if any rock music producers, and directly influenced the course of rock orchestrations and arrangements to a considerable degree. Spector's trademark "wall of sound" -- a technique developed with audio engineers including Larry Levine and others -- emerged in the early '60s; it involved layering various sounds in the recording studio (and doing the actual recording in an echo chamber) to heighten the density and reverberation of the resultant tracks. The effect not only shaped the sound of major acts including… More
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 78%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Fascinating because its subject is so influential and so deranged, a shambles because its filmmaker can't decide which approach to take and so takes all of them."
‑ Ty Burr, Boston Globe
"A documentary examination of the genius, madness, arrogance and abject insecurity of rock music's most famous record producer."
‑ Tom Long, Detroit News
"The overall effect is as elaborate and fascinating as one of Spector's musical productions from the '60s."
‑ Liz Braun, Jam! Movies
"Songs by the Crystals, the Righteous Brothers, and Ike & Tina Turner are about all that come out of this movie unscathed."
‑ Bret Milano, Boston Phoenix
"Even with Spector's dark obsessions and current prison address, you can't dismiss his music's power, or its influence."
‑ Chris Foran, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
"Murderer or not, the man is a musical genius, and Jayanti's film makes that abundantly, even tragically clear..."
‑ Michael O'Sullivan, Washington Post
"Spector talking never fails to hold our interest, but other aspects of the film are less successful."
‑ Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times
"Spector may be a paranoid loon with blood on his hands, but he's also a fascinating, tragic case study in splendid isolation."
‑ Norman Wilner, NOW Toronto
"This is an unusually formatted documentary that, in other hands, may have concentrated on the trial instead of the music but this makes for an imaginative and entertaining document"
‑ Robin Clifford, Reeling Reviews
"The melody has gone for a flawed musical genius."
‑ Don Groves, sbs.com.au
"It's disconcerting but strangely effective -- you get a sense of different aspects of the man, coexisting as one."
‑ Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times
"What makes Ecstasy essential viewing for any pop-music fan and any student of celebrity pathology is the interview itself."
‑ Kevin Lally, Hollywood Reporter
"...a sporadically intriguing yet disastrously overlong documentary..."
‑ David Nusair, Reel Film Reviews
"...Jayanti's taken a unique approach, and the producer who emerges is a very flawed and strange man but undisputed musical genius."
‑ Laura Clifford, Reeling Reviews
"The movie isn't interested in whether or not Spector is a murderer, but it gives him a chance to clear the air, and perhaps find a moment of peace for himself."
‑ Jeffrey M. Anderson, Combustible Celluloid
More reviews for The Agony and the Ecstasy of Phil Spector on Rotten Tomatoes