Bob Marley is without question the world's most beloved reggae artist, but not because his music was more appealing or accessible than the multitude of trad, ska and, dub artists that preceded him or the throngs that followed.
Rather, Bob Marley, for some reason or another, commanded international attention early in his career and long after his untimely death.
Marley, a new film by Academy Award-winning director Kevin Macdonald (One Day In September, The Last King of Scotland, A Day in the Life) goes right to the heart of worldwide popular culture's obsession with Jamaica's biggest star. The documentary opens on Friday, April 20 at O Cinema.
Robert Nesta Marley started his musical career at the age of 14, when he left school to make music with Jamaican vocalist Joe Higgs. At twice that age, Marley, Peter Tosh, and Bunny Wailer (The Wailers), cut Catch a Fire, the first full-length reggae album to be produced with the accoutrements of top-shelf 1970s recording technology.
For the rest of his short life, and well beyond it, Marley became a brand name celebrity on par with Michael Jackson in terms of recognition, mass appeal, and merchandising.
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But Marley is concerned with a more quiet, personal corner of the Jamaican bard's tragic life. The two-plus hour film patiently unpacks the myth of Bob Marley by interviewing primary text witnesses who lived with, and loved, the man himself.
Marley. Screening Friday, April 20 thru Sunday, April 29 at O Cinema (90 NW 29 St., Miami). Tickets are $7.50-$10.50. Call (305) 571-9970 or visit o-cinema.org.