Saturday, September 23, 2017

Shine a Light

Directed by Martin Scorsese, Shine a Light is a concert-documentary film that chronicles the band’s performance at the Beacon Theatre in New York City in 2006 during the Bigger Bang tour as it includes archival footage from other films and backstage footage. The film showcases the band celebrating their longevity as they’re joined by special guests in Jack White of the White Stripes, Christina Aguilera, and blues legend Buddy Guy. The result is an enthralling and lively film from Martin Scorsese.

On October 29 and November 1, 2006, the Rolling Stones played two shows at the Beacon Theatre in New York City as the second show was filmed by Martin Scorsese who wants to present the ultimate concert film of one of his all-time favorite bands. While it is mainly a film that shows the band playing some of their hits as well as some beloved album cuts, it does show footage behind the scenes where the band and Scorsese talk about how to film the concert as well as including footage from the past as it relates to the band’s notoriety. Scorsese would appear early in the film through black-and-white footage of scenes backstage about the staging and how to light the show as he and cinematographer Robert Richardson discuss what to do.

Much of the concert footage is shot on digital with Richardson leading the way with an array of esteemed cinematographers as camera operators such as Emmanuel Lubezki, Ellen Kuras, and John Toll as well as filmmaker Albert Maysles being an onstage cameraman. There is an air of excitement in the performances with vocalist Mick Jagger displaying a ferocity in how he moves which is astonishing for someone who was in his 60s during the performance. Guitarists Keith Richards and Ron Wood are also displaying a sense of energy into their performance while drummer Charlie Watts remains this strong force on the drums. Aided by other musicians such as keyboardist Chuck Leavell, bassist Daryl Jones, saxophonist Bobby Keys, backing vocalists Lisa Fischer and Bernard Fowler, and a few others. The Stones prove that they still have that sense of power as their music is aided by the masterful sound mixing of Bob Clearmountain who is aided by sound editors Fred Rosenberg and Philip Stockton for the audio cuts to mix in with some of the archival footage.

The guest performances from Jack White on Loving Cup, Buddy Guy on Champagne & Reefer, and Christina Aguilera on Live with Me are among some of the highlights while the film also features an appearance from former U.S. President Bill Clinton, his wife Hilary, and family who had the two shows used as a benefit for Clinton’s charity in the Clinton Foundation as they’re joined by Poland’s then-president Aleksander Kwasniewski for the concerts.

Editor David Tideschi does excellent work in capturing the energy of the shows while allowing the chance to not delve too much into some fast-cutting style that is common with music videos in order to get a sense of what is happening on the stage. The visual effects work of Sam Khorshid does nice work on the lone visual effects which are these crane shots towards the exterior of the Beacon Theatre and out for the ending which features the Stones’ logo as the moon.

Shine a Light is a spectacular concert film from Martin Scorsese. Not only is it an entertaining film with great music and performances but it also captures the Rolling Stones still managing to play incredible music at a time when many artists in their age group would’ve retired or slow themselves down. In the end, Shine a Light is a phenomenal film from Martin Scorsese.

Related: Sympathy for the Devil (One Plus One) - Gimme Shelter - The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus - Crossfire Hurricane

Martin Scorsese Films: (Who’s That Knocking on My Door?) – (Street Scenes) – Boxcar Bertha – (Mean Streets) – ItalianamericanAlice Doesn't Live Here Anymore - Taxi Driver - New York, New YorkAmerican Boy: A Profile of Steven Prince - (The Last Waltz) – Raging Bull - The King of Comedy - After HoursThe Color of Money - The Last Temptation of Christ - New York Stories-Life Lessons - GoodfellasCape Fear (1991 film) - The Age of Innocence (1993 film) - (A Personal Journey with Martin Scorsese Through American Movies) – (Casino) – (Kundun) – (My Voyage to Italy) – Bringing Out the Dead - (The Blues-Feel Like Going Home) – Gangs of New York - (The Aviator) – No Direction HomeThe Departed - Shutter Island - (A Letter to Elia) – (Public Speaking) - George Harrison: Living in the Material World - Hugo (2011 film) - The Wolf of Wall Street - (The Fifty Year Argument) – Silence (2016 film) – (The Irishman (2019 film)) - Killers of the Flower Moon - (An Afternoon with SCTV)

© thevoid99 2017

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