Rashida Jones Honors Her Father With Netflix Documentary 'Quincy'
The actress co-directed and co-wrote the Netflix doc about her father Quincy Jones' prolific career in music.
Quincy Jones has had one of the most legendary careers in the entertainment industry and on Friday night, his accomplishments were honored with the premiere of the documentary Quincy at the Pickford Center for Motion Picture Study in Hollywood, with his daughter (and the doc's co-director) Rashida Jones, Diane Warren and Ted Sarandos in attendance.
The elder Jones rose from the slums of the South Side of Chicago to become one of the most successful and prolific composers and music producers of all time, working with such legendary talents as Ray Charles, Frank Sinatra and Michael Jackson, for whom he produced 1982's Thriller, the best-selling album of all time.
Rashida spoke to The Hollywood Reporter about why this was the right time to make a film about her father.
“My dad’s story is also the story of black America. He was born in the '30s. He’s seen every decade since. He’s been relevant in every decade since, so we’re dealing with a lot of race stuff in this country and it's important to tell the stories of the past," she said. "It’s the only way we can learn. It’s the only way we can change and evolve, and this is a great way to do it."
The film brought out Quincy’s friends, family and several important people from his past, including the original band from the Thriller album. Warren and Sarandos were seen chatting excitedly with each other about the film in the lobby of the theater before the premiere.
Rashida co-helmed the film with Alan Hicks, who talked to THR about just some of the things he learned about Quincy while doing research on him.
“I would learn something every day because Rashida and I would work in the archives and just pour over all the material and you’d find out a new thing every day," said Hicks. "For example, I found out that he was in the room with Miles Davis when he recorded Kind of Blue. And then you found out that he had the first music that was ever played on the moon, and that he made all of these discoveries like Will Smith and Oprah Winfrey.”
The doc covers every decade in Quincy's life, documenting both his professional successes and his personal struggles, and culminates in his production of a television special to celebrate the opening of the National Museum of African American and Culture in Washington, which featured appearances by Barack and Michelle Obama, Winfrey and John Legend.
The conclusion of Quincy was greeted with a long and sustained standing ovation for both the film and for the subject himself, who was in attendance.
After the movie, guests headed over to the ballroom at Neuehouse, where they enjoyed beef sliders, mozzarella wrapped in prosciutto and chicken meatballs and were entertained with a musical performance by R&B singer Lalah Hathaway, who at one point was accompanied by Jackson’s musical director Greg Phillinganes while she sang the Jackson hit "Human Nature."
"I am constantly in awe of how much he’s managed to cram into a lifetime," Rashida noted of her father. "He’s not done. He’s 85 and he’s not done.”