The Soul of a Man [part 2 of Martin Scorsese’s The Blues]. 2003. Germany/USA. Directed by Wim Wenders. 103 min.
Screenplay by Wim Wenders. A passionate admirer of the American blues, Wenders devoted the second installment of this Martin Scorsese–produced series to three giant talents: the gospel singer and guitarist Blind Willie Johnson, whose “Dark Was the Night” was the inspiration for Ry Cooder’s score for Paris, Texas; Skip James, the Delta blues guitarist, singer, pianist, and songwriter who influenced everyone from Robert Johnson to Eric Clapton; and J. B. Lenoir, the Chicago bluesman who wrote some of the most politically charged songs of the 1950s and 1960s. Covers of their music are performed in the film by Shemekia Copeland, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Beck, The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, Bonnie Raitt, Lou Reed, Lucinda Williams, and others. Courtesy Vulcan Productions.