Sing Me the Songs That Say I Love You
Sing Me the Songs That Say I Love You pays tribute to the talented, underrated Canadian singer-songwriter Kate McGarrigle who died of cancer in 2010. Kate's children, Rufus and Martha Wainright, and her sisters, Anna and Jane McGarrigle, came together to perform Kate's songs at a memorial concert at Town Hall in New York. Director Lian Lunson combines footage from the concert with interviews with Rufus and Martha who reminisce over their memories of Kate McGarrigle. If you're an avid fan of the music, you'll be thoroughly entertained because there's more concert footage than interviews to be found here. Lunson allows you to watch the songs being sung from start to finish, so if you're not already a fan, you might find yourself becoming increasingly bored and yearning for more interviews to provide some much-needed insight. To be fair, though, the cinematography of the concert is superb as is the sound design. Lunson occasionally shifts from color to black-and-white which makes for a very stylish experience.
However, every great music doc, i.e. Standing in the Shadows of Motown or the recent Searching for Sugar Man, was not only about the music, but about the people behind the music and generated warmth, poignancy, insight and humor along the way. Sing Me the Songs That Say I Love You has warmth and poignancy, but it ends up providing more attention to the songs of Kate McGarrigle than to the musician herself. You'll learn basic info such as how her children became inspired to become musicians and what Kate McGarrigle's last moments of life were like; that's not enough in terms of insight or intrigue to make for a truly compelling doc that offers both style and substance, though. Just listening to the soundtrack might be a more rewarding and satisfying experience.