This week, Virtual Cinema explores the lives of two remarkable women linked to the music industry: visionary jazz singer Ella Fitzgerald; and Vivian Liberto, the first wife of Johnny Cash.
► Ella Fitzgerald: Just One of Those Things
Rarely the focus of musical documentaries, Ella Fitzgerald is front and center in Ella Fitzgerald: Just One of Those Things. The new film traces her extraordinary journey over six decades, as her sublime voice transformed the troubles of her life into joy. Fitzgerald (1917–1996) was only a teenager when she won the Apollo Theater’s first amateur night in 1934. Just One of Those Things showcases her commitment to the Civil Rights battle, her musical innovations, and more, through recollections from the likes of Tony Bennett, Cleo Laine, Johnny Mathis, Smokey Robinson, and Fitzgerald’s son, Ray Brown Jr. Presented as part of the film series complementing the exhibition Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power.
• Ella Fitzgerald: Just One of Those Things WATCH NOW (July 1–August 30) Your purchase ($12) supports the MFAH and provides access to the film for three days. See the Trailer
► My Darling Vivian
“Thoroughly engrossing, often heartbreaking” —Rolling Stone
The new documentary My Darling Vivian tells the story of Vivian Liberto, Johnny Cash’s first wife and the mother of his four daughters: Rosanne, Kathy, Cindy, and Tara. Produced by Liberto’s grandson, Justin Tittle, the film aims to forge a new legacy for Liberto (1934–2005) through interviews with her daughters about love, isolation, fear, disappointment, and survival. Liberto, who was born in San Antonio to an Italian American family, met Cash when she was 17. They were married for 13 years, but he is primarily remembered for his subsequent marriage to June Carter. My Darling Vivian strives to set the record straight.