Thirty years after its Auckland International Film Festival debut, Prince’s legendary concert movie escapes music rights limbo just in time to make the perfect late addition to our 50th birthday celebration.
“To watch Sign O’ the Times now, in the wake of Prince’s shocking death, is to experience all of his gifts at once, with an intensity so fierce it tempts the boundary between pleasure and neural shutdown. Here, in 85 incandescent minutes, is proof that all those otherworldly talents – that voice, that guitar playing, that style – somehow all fit inside the same physical being, a circumstance that would have been implausible had he been eight feet tall instead of just a hair over five. Although it was filmed in different locations and Prince’s frequent costume changes suggest significant breaks between songs – it takes time to switch from Spandex overalls and a white fur coat to a jean jacket and a policeman’s cap – it nonetheless feels live in a way concert movies rarely… You’re not just watching a performance; you’re seeing music being made.” — Sam Adams, Slate
“Sign O’ the Times is Prince at his commercial and critical peak, a life-affirming playground of music and sex.” — Matthew De Abaitua, Film4