Stevie Nicks: In Your Dreams Directed by Stevie Nicks & Dave Stewart
Starring Stevie Nicks, Dave Stewart, Glen Ballard, Lindsey Buckingham, Mick Fleetwood, Ann Marie Calhoun
Release date: May 14, 2013 (VOD)
Stevie Nicks, the singer/songwriter who has thrilled and delighted legions of fans for over 40 years now by way of her stint in Fleetwood Mac and her also successful solo career, now has a documentary on the process of making her album, entitled Stevie Nicks: In Your Dreams, available now for instant digital download on iTunes and through On Demand.
The Grammy-winning and legendary artist, responsible for so many chart successes and radio hits with Fleetwood Mac like “Rhiannon,” “Go Your Own Way,” “Gypsy,” “Landslide,” and songs like “Stop Dragging My Heart Around” as a solo act, still tours and is still regarded as one of the top-shelf musicians of that genre of all time. Her fan base still boils over today with a passion and fervor for her, she gives off the kind of heat and adoration which many of her audience (especially women), still absorb. She’s kind of a hero, muse, and inspiration all at once to them, in her style, her slapdash, post-hippie, post-Janis Joplin kind of fashion sense, and her art.
Now comes the film, which had premiered in LA on March 30th and played to almost 100 markets since then, to positive success. Stevie Nicks: In Your Dreams, directed by Nicks and ex-Eurythmics steam engine/musician Dave Stewart, shows the making of an album between the two of them, titled In Your Dreams, and it does so in a rather rich visual manner. Eschewing the standardized kind of low-rent, slap it together visual accoutrements which are usually the procedure when these “making of” documentaries are presented, there’s a lush, cinematic tone which hovers over the proceedings.
Stewart mentions at the beginning of the doc that he has a penchant for filmmaking and it shows here, at times the star is the work of the cinematographer as we see beauty visuals surrounding the making of this record, punctuated by the music created by the two. With co-producer Glen Ballard in tow, best known for his production of Alanis Morrisette’s mid 1990s ode to irony and twisted love and angish, Jagged Little Pill, the triad collaborates and we see the process from the songs from embryonic state to somewhat fruition, with Nicks charting the ship, steering it, tightening the screws and gently giving her opinions.
There’s also lots of back slapping and metaphoric gushing and hugging and all that, and Fleetwood Mac members (and former lovers of Nicks) Lindsay Buckingham and Mick Fleetwood making the expected appearances, as does actress Reese Witherspoon, which at times takes away from the proceedings and puts it more in the vanity project department, which no doubt this also is. After all, Nicks has a hand in not only the direction, but the production, obviously she’s the star, the focus, the focal point, and the musician and axis the entire thing is rotating around. But this kind of iron-clad control is something Nicks has always aspired to in her lengthy career; it’s the stuff of legend actually.
Nicks is a true diva who lives like one and is not ashamed or afraid to show it. In fact she celebrates it. In a way, she seems to enjoy the fact that she’s a larger than life public and artistic figure who waves her magic wand over the massive contingent of loyal fans who will go lengths to gush and cry for her or at least her image (as a quickly edited montage of them do in the very beginning of this doc, championing and singing the praises of this “gypsy”). It’s that adoration and control that seems to be the metaphoric oil and petrol that gives her the massive ilk to chug her way along in her career, especially now, in her sixties, still looking the same in a way physically, but in true essence, light years away from the real glory days of her first and arguable best success during the 1970s with Fleetwood Mac.
Nowadays, the trip for her is still successful, as she still tours incessantly with Mac and on her own, but it’s more like a revival in a sense and not a fresh approach at what she’s capable of. The fans don’t care or even see it this way of course, they are just happy to have Nicks around, and a Nicks product, regardless of what’s underneath when one looks beneath the floorboards.
The bottom line with this production is that it’s going to please Stevie Nicks fans no doubt, but it’s kind of strange to put together a making of a record that really in a way arguably isn’t deserving of this kind of filmic treatment. It’s a lot of hullabaloo about the nothing that remains much ado. But again, it’s going to be fun for Nicks fans, who will emote from every shred and utterance, be it musically, vocally, or spiritual that eminates from this woman. She, like Fleetwood Mac, although they achieved monumental success, are still an acquired taste arguably, but the loyal faithful (and there are a lot of them) will enjoy the early anecdotes and the pictures of Nicks in her heyday and younger no doubt, and there’s enough fans to make sure that this project will have enough of a eye above the radar to make it all the worthwhile and strengthen the legend of Stevie Nicks. And ultimately, isn’t that what one wants to get out of hero worship anyhow?