Eric Clapton: Life in 12 Bars (2017)

Do we really need to know the tawdry details of Eric Clapton’s lovelorn years mooning over [Geroge Harrison’s wife] Pattie Boyd, his lost decade of alcoholism and heroin or his nasty views about Enoch Powell? Hell yes, we do. As a famous 1960s photograph of a graffito on a London wall said: “Clapton is God.”

That photo appears in Lili Fini Zanuck’s […] documentary, along with perhaps every other still photograph ever taken of the man. Photographs carry the story here, along with voices, rather than filmed interviews. Actually, it works. We may not see what Boyd looks like now, but who cares? She talks frankly and openly and Zanuck, who won an Oscar with her husband Richard Zanuck for best picture as producer of Driving Miss Daisy [1989], turns weaknesses into strengths.

The voices run over the stills, bringing them to life, like we’re in someone’s living room hearing their intimate stories about the great days. Zanuck even brings people back from the dead with rare recordings of conversations between Clapton and his new friend Jimi Hendrix in London in the late 1960s, when both men were building their legends.

The film revolves around two troubled relationships, both with women [Patti Boyd and his mother]. There’s no guitar porn and not a lot about his influences beyond BB King, but what’s there is surprising […].

Paul Byrnes, The Sydney Morning Herald

The Sept. 25th screening in Riviera is held together with our partner Viinilinna. Please note that festival passes or gift vouchers are not valid for this screening.

  • Orig. title:
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: partly English
  • Distribution: Scanbox Entertainment Finland
  • Cinematography:
  • Editing: Chris King, Paul Monaghan