BONNIE BLUE: JAMES COTTON’S LIFE IN THE BLUES

California premiere


DOCS

US 2022, 86 min, Director: Bestor Cram

Largely credited with introducing the blues to rock audiences, Grammy-winning singer, harmonica player, and songwriter James Cotton gets a fitting tribute in this vibrant documentary portrait. Born on a plantation in Tunica, Mississippi, James Henry Cotton picked up his mother’s harmonica as a youngster and taught himself to play. His talent and drive brought him to the attention of blues great Sonny Boy Williamson, an eventual mentor, and to Chicago, where Cotton played harmonica with Muddy Waters for 12 years. A dazzling, three-decade-plus solo career inspired him to reimagine how the blues could be received and appreciated. Cotton, who died in 2017, speaks via unearthed video interviews in Bestor Cram’s insightful film, while interviews with Cotton’s contemporaries, including Buddy Guy, Billy Branch, and Steve Miller, further flesh out the artist’s profile. Fiery live sets and impressive archival footage reveal the depth and wonder of Cotton’s talent. —Wilfred Okiche

Guests expected: director Bestor Cram, producer Judith Laster, producer-musician James Montgomery

VIEW TRAILER



Showtimes

In-Person


3:00 PM — Sequoia 2

4:00 PM — Rafael 3

Virtual


Oct 6, 12:00 AM — Oct 17, 12:00 AM Eastern Standard Time (EST)

Director

Bestor Cram is a veteran documentary cinematographer, producer, and director. He made his directing debut with Midnight Ramble (1994). His second film, You Don’t Know Dick: Courageous Hearts of Transsxual Men (1997), won L.A. Outfest’s documentary audience award, NewFest: New York’s LGBT Film Festival’s Best Documentary Award, and other accolades. Among his other films are Unfinished Symphony: Democracy and Dissent (2001), Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison (2008), Weapons of Mass Disruption (2011), and JFK: The Last Speech (2018).

Film Info

countries:

Year:

2022

Running Time:

86

Languages:

English

Director:

Bestor Cram

Producers:

Judith Laster, James Montgomery, Sam Pollard

Cinematographers:

Jesse Beecher, Bestor Cram, Joe York

Editors:

Mike Majoros

Writers:

Bestor Cram

Cast:

James Cotton, Buddy Guy, Billy Branch, Steve Miller

sections: