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Warming By The Devil's Fire (Blues Film Collection)
/AV Channel . R4 . COLOR . 106 mins . PG . PAL


This entrant in Martin Scorsese's seven-part Blues Film Collection is directed by Charles Burnett, and is the most personal of all the movies in the collection.

Personal because while all the other directors use their skills and particular enthusiasms to tell the story of one facet or other of the blues, Charles Burnett seems more concerned to use the Blues as a background for telling us about himself.

There are some great performers on show here, such as Muddy Waters and Son House, and quite a few of the other usual suspects have been rounded up to stand alongside them.

But the whole thing doesn't quite jell. Clint Eastwood in 'Piano Blues' was totally part of his story too, but in a way which augmented and enriched his film. This is just way too indulgent, and the story suffers.


This is a first-class anamorphic transfer; clear and crisp, and the sound is equally strong. Extras include a bonus full-length performance not seen in the movie, or Willlie Dixon performing 'Nervous' in a classic 1966 performance. There is an audio commentary from Charles Burnett which seems largely superfluous, and a filmed interview with him as well. Finally, there are text biographies and filmographies for Burnett.

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  •   And I quote...
    "Fictional autobiography or autobiographical fiction? Either way, this instalment in Martin Scorsese's Blues Film Collection is way too indulgent."
    - Anthony Clarke
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