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Joni Mitchell turns screenwriter Print-ready version

Salina Journal
December 14, 1980
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Singer Joni Mitchell has turned screenwriter. She has written an episode in a feature film called "Love" that will have nine stories, all written by women. Mitchell's story is a fantasy about a woman confronting her former lover at a costume ball.

She will appear in the movie as well, in part of it made up as a black man. This is an interesting echo of her album cover three years ago for "Don Juan's Reckless Daughter" on which Mitchell appeared made up as a black man, a disguise that the album never called attention to, leaving it up to the listener to decipher.

Getting into screen writing is a logical step for Mitchell, who has said that in her albums, especially in "Don Juan's Reckless Daughter," she has been trying to create record albums that are like movies. "The voice speaks as characters speak," she has said. "It's also the camera."

Mitchell's latest album, a live double LP called "Lights and Shadows [sic]," takes her farther along the jazz road she has been exploring. Her classic "Woodstock," for instance, takes on a whole new idiomatic character.

She has had a bit of criticism for deviating from her folk roots and also from rock but she refuses to be pigeonholed. "All the time I've been a musician," she has said, "I've always been an oddball." She wants to try it all she says, folk, rock, country, jazz, classical, bringing it all down to what she calls "just American music."

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