West of Memphis Directed by Amy Berg
Featuring: Jessie Misskelley, Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin, Lorri Davis, Terry Branch, Eddie Vedder, Peter Jackson Sony Pictures Classics
Rated R | 147 Minutes
Release Date: March 8, 2013
Directed by Amy Berg, West of Memphis is a documentary about the West Memphis Three – Jessie Misskelley, Damien Echols, and Jason Baldwin – three teenagers who were arrested in 1994 for the murders of three 8-year old children: Christopher Byers, Steven Branch, and Michael Moore.
The West Memphis Three were tried and convicted and remained in prison for more than 18 years. Berg’s film (produced by Fran Walsh and Peter Jackson) focuses on Terry Hobbs, stepfather of Stevie Branch, one of the victims of the 1993 crime, as a potential suspect due to newfound DNA evidence linking him to the crime.
West of Memphis is another miscarriage-of-justice documentary, similar to The Central Park Five by Ken Burns, Sarah Burns, and David McMahon. The film chronicles the history of the imprisoned men all the way up to their eventual release through interviews conducted with lawyers, judges, journalists, family members, witnesses, and the West Memphis Three themselves. There are also interviews with Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh, and other WM3 supporters like Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder who have been following the case for two decades.
West of Memphis: Voices for Justice, a soundtrack album for the film West of Memphis was released today on CD and MP3 and features an all-star line-up of musicians and longtime supporters of the West Memphis Three. West of Memphis, which was given a limited theatrical release last month, is the Peter Jackson-produced documentary about the arrest and 1994 murder conviction of then-teenagers Jessie Misskelley, Damien Echols, and Jason Baldwin – known as the “West Memphis Three” – and how forensic evidence led to their release from prison after more than 18 years.
A few days ago, we posted about the first single off the album, a cover of the David Bowie classic “The Jean Genie” performed by Camp Freddy, a cover band featuring guitarist Dave Navarro (Jane’s Addiction, Red Hot Chili Peppers) and drummer Matt Sorum (Guns N’ Roses). Now, 14 tracks off the album, which features acts like Eddie Vedder, Marilyn Manson, Bob Dylan, and Patti Smith, as well as Johnny Depp (see Track #5 by Tonto’s Giant Nuts featuring Depp), is streaming online for FREE.
Since it opened in limited release on Christmas Day, the Peter Jackson-produced documentary West of Memphis, which tells the harrowing tale of the arrest and conviction for the murder of the “West Memphis Three” – Jessie Misskelley, Damien Echols, and Jason Baldwin – and how forensic evidence led to their release from prison after more than 18 years, has garnished rave reviews and has been hailed by many as one of the best films of 2012.
Next Tuesday, a soundtrack album titled West of Memphis: Voices for Justice will be released by Sony’s Legacy label that features an all-star line-up of musicians and longtime supporters of the West Memphis Three. Today, we have for you the full track listing as well as the premiere of the first single off the album, a cover of the David Bowie classic “The Jean Genie” performed by Camp Freddy, a cover band featuring Dave Navarro of the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Jane’s Addiction on guitar and Matt Sorum of Guns N’ Roses on drums.
West of Memphis is currently playing in select theaters across the country. Voices for Justice will be released on CD and MP3 on Tuesday, January 15, 2013. You can check out the full track listing for the album here below, along with a video of the band performing the song in concert.
Back in 2011 it was revealed that Peter Jackson, director of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, King Kong, and the upcoming Hobbit trilogy, was helping to finance investigations and forensic testing to prove the innocence of Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin, and Jessie Misskelley, three men who were convicted of the murders of three young boys and came to be known as the West Memphis Three.
The trio spent nearly twenty years in prison for the crime before finally being released after DNA tests that couldn’t be performed back then showed without a doubt that their conviction was very wrong, and that the real killer could still be out there walking around right now.
Now comes a new trailer for the documentary produced by Jackson, his partner Fran Walsh, and director Amy Berg, titled West of Memphis. It’s the second trailer released; the first came back in January.
For 2nd edition of The Geeks Of Doom Round Up, Greg takes a look at the trailer for West Of Memphis, produced by Peter Jackson, which focuses on the long-running West Memphis Three case. For our music selection this week, Andy takes a listen to Pogo, and his Fresh Prince mashup song, “Jaaam.”