The Rolling Stones, Martin Scorsese, And Many Others Work Together To Shine a Light
4 out of 5 stars
If you know enough about The Stones that you’re reading reviews to see if you should see this movie, then the answer is, “Yes, you should see this movie.”
If you don’t know much about The Stones, this movie will show you more about what all the fuss is about.
Watching Mick Jagger is amazing (and exhausting). Most teenagers could not exert themselves as he does most nights.
Watching this film, you get the impression that if Rock n’ Roll hadn’t already existed when Mick came along, he would have willed and forced it into creation.
You get the impression that if Rock n’ Roll wouldn’t last until tomorrow unless we found a hamster able to run on a wheel all through the night, Mick would volunteer to be the hamster.
I think the movie clearly shows what it means for all members of a band to be necessary to create a band’s chemistry.
We see the band members transform from fairly quiet and unassuming boys (with clips of interviews from the 1960s) into coordinated and widely heard protesters (still with their boyish grins and boyish charms) through their combined musical creations and performances.
We’re reminded that Rock n’ Roll used to be considered dangerous because it discussed sexually explicit topics with teenagers and anyone else listening in.
We’re persuaded that The Stones’ version of Rock n’ Roll isn’t just a style of music or a certain rhythm and tempo, but rather it is an extension of a coordinated force of wills.
I do have some critiques of the film, which lead me to give it only 4 out of 5 stars, but life’s short and my critiques are not important, and you’re probably not reading this review to hear about one critic’s ideas about how to make a better concert movie. I’m still waiting for a truly great Rock n’ Roll concert movie, and unfortunately, this movie, like many others, falls just short.
The Stones do great performances of many of their famous songs, from “Start Me Up” to “Satisfaction” to “Brown Sugar” to “Sympathy for the Devil” to “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” and many more. I particularly loved their performance of their 1978 song “Far Away Eyes” and their cover of The Temptations’ “Just My Imagination.”
The movie and The Stones’ lives suggest it takes regular hard work, rare chemistry, and a driving will to artfully publish our dissatisfactions if you want to shine the lights of Rock n’ Roll.
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On a side note: I want to thank everyone who wrote in thoughtful criticisms of me in the last couple days. And I thank others who commented on several other posts, expressing what spoke to them. Over 9,500 people dropped by yesterday to read or look at some part of these lively and controversial discussions, and I love that. Rock n’ Roll.
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