Music

Pink: parent, performer, pacesetter

The singer in a still from ‘P!nk: All I Know So Far’

The singer in a still from ‘P!nk: All I Know So Far’

Michael Gracey is obsessed with Bollywood. Speaking over a video call from New Zealand, the Australian director says he grew up watching Akshay Kumar films. “Bollywood is the greatest example of musical storytelling.”

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Gracey should know, having directed the multiple-award winning The Greatest Showman and his latest documentary, P!nk: All I Know So Far . “I am passionate about musical storytelling as a narrative form,” he says. “The way I put sequences together is music driven, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it is a musical. Films such as Cinema Paradiso or The Mission , or Tarantino’s films, are music driven but are not musicals; people are not breaking into song.”

Director Michael Gracey

Director Michael Gracey

Gracey met American singer-songwriter Pink when she recorded ‘ A Million Dreams ’ for The Greatest Showman: Reimagined album. “She asked if I would do the music video for her single, ‘ Walk MeHome ’. When it came time to capture her Wembley concert [in London, in 2019], we thought of finding a unique approach to make sure it was not another documentary of a concert. The one thing that I had seen, spending time with her, was her amazing juggling act between family life and being a rock star. She didn’t seem to separate those two things, they just seem to exist for her at the same time. I thought that was an incredibly unique way to enter this film.”

Slice of life

Pink, 41, came up with the title, Gracey says with a laugh. “Over the course of the film... and the different variations of wisdom of being a rock star, a mother, her relationship with her children and her husband, [former motorcycle racer and BMX star] Carey Hart. It is not to say that there is not more to come, but just to say this is a good snapshot of where she is in her life right now.” (Pink also released a song by the same name on May 7, directed by her longtime collaborator, Dave Meyers.)

Pink with husband Carey Hart, and children Willow and Jameson in a still from ‘P!nk: All I Know So Far’

Pink with husband Carey Hart, and children Willow and Jameson in a still from ‘P!nk: All I Know So Far’

The documentary mixes behind-the-scenes interviews, on-the-road footage, and personal material (the singer keeps a journal and writes letters to her children, to read when they are older), as it follows the family of four and the crew across Europe on the ‘Beautiful Trauma’ world tour. Considering himself fortunate in the people that he has worked with, Gracey says Pink is an amazing performer and a very funny person to be around. “Collaborating with her was an absolute joy.”

During the film, there is a scene where Pink’s two-year-old son, Jameson, sneezes so hard, he hits his head on the wall. “The fact that we captured it was amazing,” says Gracey. “There were also moving moments like when she reads a letter from a [lifelong] fan. They are the moments where you understand the impact that she has had on so many people. Every artist hopes that they make something that connects with people and impacts their lives for the better. There is no question that Pink is one of those people.”

Pink with her son, Jameson, in a still from ‘P!nk: All I Know So Far’

Pink with her son, Jameson, in a still from ‘P!nk: All I Know So Far’

The quiet and the spectacular

Having worked in advertising, feature films, music videos and documentaries, Gracey doesn’t play favourites. “They are all so different. The reason I was able to make the film I did was because of the years of shooting commercials [which are all about how you engage an audience, and keep them watching, even if it is just for 60 seconds]. Documentary filmmaking is another discipline, but to me all of these things are just about storytelling. It is more about the subject matter, about the story, and the best or most engaging way to tell that story.”

The documentary, Gracey says, was going to be about Pink juggling being a rock star and a mum. “That was definitely the intention going in. I think what was discovered in the shooting was that she has that same bond and a sense of family with her crew. Also, I thought Jameson was going to be great fodder for the camera because he is such a personality. And yet it was her [eight-year-old] daughter, Willow, who fascinated me. She is quiet, introspective, thoughtful and deep. You don’t expect the quiet person to be great entertainment. The contrast between the circus going on around the tour, the production and the spectacle, and this quiet little girl in the corner just looking at her mum was fascinating.”

P!nk: All I Know So Far streams on Amazon Prime Video from May 21

 


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Printable version | Jun 25, 2022 12:54:20 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/music/pink-parent-performer-pacesetter/article34585073.ece