This documentary not only educates about the origins of rock and roll and some unknown groundbreakers, but also offers a glimpse into the lives of those who chose to be different at a time when it could have immense consequences. Thanks to a treasure trove of archival material (interviews and performances), Little Richard's complex inner world is uncovered and the icon's life story, with all its contradictions, is unraveled. In exuberant fashion, testimonies from Penniman himself, from his friends and family, from musical legends, and from pioneering black and queer academics manage to illustrate the magnitude of his influence on artists to this day.
Genre: Documentary, music
Language: English, subtitles: Dutch
This ode to Little Richard, who created an art form of ultimate self-expression, reminds us that eccentrics and misfits have a power that, when given the chance, unlocks new worlds in which we can all be ourselves. Director Cortés updates the canon with a wealth of Little Richard's predecessors and contemporaries, such as Sister Rosetta Tharpe: the mother of rock ‘n’ roll who gave the then 14-year-old Penniman his first breakthrough. The film lovingly captures Penniman as a conflicted and underappreciated revolutionary who was forced to switch continuously between religion, sex and rock ‘n’ roll, navigating the extreme tensions of racial identity and sexuality at the time.
The film illuminates the black, queer origins of rock ‘n’ roll, and establishes the genre's actual creator: Richard Wayne Penniman, or Little Richard. Known for the hits Tutti Frutti, Long Tall Sally, Lucille and Good Golly Miss Molly.
“’Little Richard: I Am Everything’ manages to find the proper balance between grace and respect towards Richard’s legacy and valid criticism of his more unsavory views or ill-conceived exploits.” The A.V. Club
“By the end of this extremely entertaining and informative documentary, the one thing you will come away with is that Little Richard always presented himself the way he wanted us to see him. And, yes, he was indeed as influential as he always said he was.” The Boston Globe
“Little Richard was everything, and thanks to Lisa Cortés’ film his influence on everyone from Elvis Presley and Jimi Hendrix to Bad Brains and Harry Styles can never again be doubted.” The Film Stage
This film will be shown at Filmhuis De Zwarte Doos. Buying a ticket online in advance is mandatory if you want to attend this film. You can buy a ticket via the black “order” button on this page.
Please note: you can only buy a ticket online; tickets are not purchasable with cash or bank card at the ticket counter.
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Please be on time
The screening of the film starts at 19:30 sharp (no commercial). We kindly ask you to be at the ticket counter when it opens 15 minutes prior to the start of the film. This is to ensure the film starts and ends on time.
SG & USE/ITEC registration
Please register for SG & USE/ITEC by scanning your student ID at the venue after the film.
More information about SG & USE/ITEC can be found here.
The Studium Generale film program is created in collaboration with the student film committee and Natlab.