Director Martin Scorsese’s rockumentary The Last Waltz (1978) is a classic in the genre, especially since the concert with The Band was supposed to be their last. This movie, a filmed 2006 performance with the Rolling Stones at the Beacon Theatre in New York, is less influential but nevertheless an impressive achievement by the director and his crew who managed to set the stage in a relatively intimate venue, with cameras everywhere, without bothering the band or the audience too much. We also get to see some of the minor clashes between Scorsese and Mick Jagger behind the scenes. The film is infused with old, telling news clips of the band, underlining how extraordinary it is to watch them give such a high-energy performance after 40 years.
2008-U.S. 122 min. Color-B/W. Produced by Steve Bing, Michel Cohl, Victoria Pearman, Zane Weiner. Directed by Martin Scorsese. Cinematography: Robert Richardson.
Trivia: Christina Aguilera, Jack White, Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton also make appearances in the film.
Last word: “I added the extra element of chance by having the cameras move, constantly tracking and zooming in at the same time. In rehearsals, we made sure that the Stones wouldn’t run into a dolly or a camera crane and get hurt. The rehearsals were really about placement, not the music – that’s why the joke with Mick comes in, about what music they’re going to play.” (Scorsese, Rolling Stone)