Today, the pop music industry is mostly inhabited by a bunch of characterless and sterile stars. Any personality quirks or more eccentric characteristics are normally ironed out by record companies and their handlers. Or, occasionally, the latter is played up, in a controlled way, if they’re seen as beneficial to the ‘brand’. Whilst this isn’t a new phenomenon, in a world of media managers, PAs and PRs any real individualism is often hard to find.
This hasn’t always been the case. In the 1980s, while Labels wanted to control their stars, this was often reactionary and sometimes ended in legal action. This is the environment where a young outspoken singer songwriter, Sinéad O’Connor emerged into the spotlight. Inspired by a traumatic childhood, her lyrics cut through. As did an increasingly troubled visage. Her tragic and unusual story is captured in Nothing Compares.
Nothing Compares is an enthralling documentary which charts both the Irish singer’s rise to fame and entrance into infamy, but also tells a very personal and troubled story. Kathryn Ferguson’s film is narrated by O’Connor herself. While this affords it an air of authority it also skews the narrative in one direction. Ignoring or downplaying certain aspects of her life. Nevertheless, Nothing Compares is a fascinating insight into a very singular person.
Nothing Compares screens at Sundance Film Festival.