Shine A Light (12A)

Film

Documentaries

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Time Out rating:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>3</span>/5

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<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>3</span>/5
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Time Out says

Mon Mar 10 2008

Cinema has licked the boots of the Rolling Stones so many times over the years that Scorsese’s slick new doc about the band, produced by the foursome themselves, struggles to say anything new, especially as the doors remain shut on their off-stage personas. Long gone are the days when Jagger masturbated for Robert Frank in ‘Cocksucker Blues’ or the band bashed at the piano late at night in an Irish hotel for Peter Whitehead’s ‘Charlie is My Darling’.

Scorsese, too, is no longer a youngster with time on his hands and something to prove. At 66, he is one of the world’s most recognised, respected and busy filmmakers. Crucially, though, he carries with him the kudos from when rock collided with film in the 1970s, when ‘Jumpin’ Jack Flash’ introduced De Niro’s entrance in ‘Mean Streets’ (1973) and Bob Dylan played for his camera in ‘The Last Waltz’ (1978). It’s that kudos, more than anything else, that Scorsese brings to ‘Shine a Light’. He’s a safe pair of hands for a band as aware as ever of their image while appearing not to care about anything so un-rock’n’roll as public relations.

The point being: all Scorsese has to do is switch on the camera, stress the age-old Stones-Scorsese alchemy,let the band play, insert the odd clip from ‘Charlie is My Darling’ and other docs, and his job is done. This is a superior concert film, no more, no less, blessed with the nod from Scorsese that makes it more than another tour film.

Scorsese knows his special place in this act of collusion and so gives himself a role as an equal to the band despite his pretending to be subservient to their crazy whims. We see him stressing about the set-list and standing at the stage-door but all this does is put the spotlight on him even more. And if the Stones can call on guests to join them on stage  (Buddy Guy, Jack White, Christina Aguilera), so can he: he hauls in a bunch of heavyweight camera guys to help him film the two-night, smallish gig at New York’s Beacon Theater that makes up most of this film. They include Robert Elswit, who shot ‘There Will Be Blood’, and Emmanuel Lubezki, who works with Terrence Malick. Thankfully, we don’t have to watch Scorsese bash bums with Lubezki as Jagger does with Aguilera.

What the Stones still do well is play live. The band give it their all, with Mick bouncing and contorting through the gig and Keith proving to be a living one-man finger-up to medicine. But what do we learn? That Mick’s in charge but not against letting Keith stagger through a solo. That Mick wishes Charlie Watts would dress a bit more rock (he loosens the zip of Watts’ top as they take a bow). That Mick spends a lot of time at the gym, judging by the stomach he shows off. That Keith looks like a tramp with a brilliant dentist. And that, all in all, these guys can put on a damn good show even if it’s left to archive and a meet-and-greet with the Clintons to entertain us beyond the music.

Let’s face it: sexagenarians – even Keith Richards – probably don’t do that much after a gig other than sleep. Which doesn’t make for great cinema. And so Scorsese has made a wise choice to rely on live gigs and past glories. It doesn’t make for anything like his rich Dylan film, ‘No Direction Home’, but it allows for a stylish, intimate concert film for fans.
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Release details

Rated:

12A

UK release:

Fri Apr 11, 2008

Duration:

122 mins

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LiveReviews|14
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usman khawaja

ROCKUMENTARIES AND REBELS i was rather jolted to see the so-called rebels que up to shake hands with the infamous CLINTONS at the very beginning ,a man whose claim to fame comes more from an image of a renegade is presented as someone who is waiting for dorothy clinton ,who happens to be hilarys mum , an added qualification comes from their arrest for drug posession and as he claims then -i was in jail -erstwhile rebels like caravvagio -murdered by his roman hierarchy .van gogh ,even jimmy dean or brando -would not have deigned it fit to don this mantle of political sedition and chemical debauchery in public but then while the music is good ,its not great -just like the movie itself ,a rather uneven and complimentary mixture portaying them as intellectuals while they have musicians only written all over them -their quotes are down right lame and ludicrous -thats what they said about our last tour in 75,74 blah blah arrogance comes with the rock and roll,eh. then we get to see ten different costumes varying from the wardrobe of presley to sting to the beatles ,they wear ties and suits and then the lipstick with mascara and dress in drag all at the same time the songs like shattereed and SILVER and champagne are still good -but compare this to u2 3d and it pales in comparison ,the message is confused and the presentation is like SCORCESSE was making a cartoon with trying to throw in funny lines which are absurd, IN SOME WAYS THESE ERSTWHILE REBELS COME OUT AS MEDIOCRE AND MUNDANE AS THE MEANINGLESS music being churned out today as the brilliance of their owm work from yeteryears is absent somehow from this mediocre movie i saw some critics compare mick to dorian grey -hilarious , oscar wilde will be in convulsions at the mere suggestion of comparisons between DORIAN and MICK, Wilde was a true rebel genius ,he was desroyed by the establishment for his renegade streak and paid a very heavy price but in real time commands a respect that rolling stones cannot achieve if they lived for seven life times . the current state of rock and roll is so woebegone because its shown itself to be no more then a rather rudimentary excuse for debauchery or drugs ,sex of course comes into it as ambiguously as mick jagger and his ambivalence to life ,as he suggests with his dance poses with a blonde female and then his fellow band member so grotesquely towards the end , the audience here seem to be so coy and looked like a list of invitees as they ranged from looking bored to amused but never animated or exuberant , ther physical preservation to being sinewy might be due to more then just losing 10 pounds in a night of concert ,it also comes from chemical stimulation and i am not talking about diet coke . THIS WAS DISAPPOINTING LIKE THE CURRENT STATE OF FOCK AND ROLL , but i did enjoy the songs and was amused by the ignorant ,arrogant comments ,so thanks for showing me their true face martin , hence i give this movie 3 stars , but as for rolling stones they might be sixty and still performing but that is no qualification for calling them great ,i can name at least a dozen off hand who are better then tem ,and even they are not in that class .

usman khawaja

ROCKUMENTARIES AND REBELS i was rather jolted to see the so-called rebels que up to shake hands with the infamous CLINTONS at the very beginning ,a man whose claim to fame comes more from an image of a renegade is presented as someone who is waiting for dorothy clinton ,who happens to be hilarys mum , an added qualification comes from their arrest for drug posession and as he claims then -i was in jail -erstwhile rebels like caravvagio -murdered by his roman hierarchy .van gogh ,even jimmy dean or brando -would not have deigned it fit to don this mantle of political sedition and chemical debauchery in public but then while the music is good ,its not great -just like the movie itself ,a rather uneven and complimentary mixture portaying them as intellectuals while they have musicians only written all over them -their quotes are down right lame and ludicrous -thats what they said about our last tour in 75,74 blah blah arrogance comes with the rock and roll,eh. then we get to see ten different costumes varying from the wardrobe of presley to sting to the beatles ,they wear ties and suits and then the lipstick with mascara and dress in drag all at the same time the songs like shattereed and SILVER and champagne are still good -but compare this to u2 3d and it pales in comparison ,the message is confused and the presentation is like SCORCESSE was making a cartoon with trying to throw in funny lines which are absurd, IN SOME WAYS THESE ERSTWHILE REBELS COME OUT AS MEDIOCRE AND MUNDANE AS THE MEANINGLESS music being churned out today as the brilliance of their owm work from yeteryears is absent somehow from this mediocre movie i saw some critics compare mick to dorian grey -hilarious , oscar wilde will be in convulsions at the mere suggestion of comparisons between DORIAN and MICK, Wilde was a true rebel genius ,he was desroyed by the establishment for his renegade streak and paid a very heavy price but in real time commands a respect that rolling stones cannot achieve if they lived for seven life times . the current state of rock and roll is so woebegone because its shown itself to be no more then a rather rudimentary excuse for debauchery or drugs ,sex of course comes into it as ambiguously as mick jagger and his ambivalence to life ,as he suggests with his dance poses with a blonde female and then his fellow band member so grotesquely towards the end , the audience here seem to be so coy and looked like a list of invitees as they ranged from looking bored to amused but never animated or exuberant , ther physical preservation to being sinewy might be due to more then just losing 10 pounds in a night of concert ,it also comes from chemical stimulation and i am not talking about diet coke . THIS WAS DISAPPOINTING LIKE THE CURRENT STATE OF FOCK AND ROLL , but i did enjoy the songs and was amused by the ignorant ,arrogant comments ,so thanks for showing me their true face martin , hence i give this movie 3 stars , but as for rolling stones they might be sixty and still performing but that is no qualification for calling them great ,i can name at least a dozen off hand who are better then tem ,and even they are not in that class .

Lauren

Upon being asked whether I thouht "Shine A Light" was good or not post-premier, I at first stumbled over my answer. First class sound quality, so too the cinematography, if you're comparing it with other gig recordings. What I stumbled over was the fact that there was no personality to the film. Having not read any reviews prior to seeing the "documentary" (which perhaps the fact that I had no warning of what was coming was the basis of my let-down) I felt as though the movie left the viewer half full. Sure, it was a superb film of a concert, however there was little substance to the content. Apart from a few seen before clips, we had no insight to what the Stones were actually about at present. Just the fact that Scorsese was involved had my hopes held high for a little intrigue. All of these were dashed however, leaving me feeling that all I had witnessed for the previous 2 hours was a gruelling publicity stunt (for what I'm not sure)

Lauren

Upon being asked whether I thouht "Shine A Light" was good or not post-premier, I at first stumbled over my answer. First class sound quality, so too the cinematography, if you're comparing it with other gig recordings. What I stumbled over was the fact that there was no personality to the film. Having not read any reviews prior to seeing the "documentary" (which perhaps the fact that I had no warning of what was coming was the basis of my let-down) I felt as though the movie left the viewer half full. Sure, it was a superb film of a concert, however there was little substance to the content. Apart from a few seen before clips, we had no insight to what the Stones were actually about at present. Just the fact that Scorsese was involved had my hopes held high for a little intrigue. All of these were dashed however, leaving me feeling that all I had witnessed for the previous 2 hours was a gruelling publicity stunt (for what I'm not sure)

Cristine

I was expecting more of Scorsese, he just did the minimum... even I could have directed the Stones; it's just a concert in a cinema. This is to prove that the Stones "keep me happy"... even in such a badly made movie......... 10 for the Stones, 0 for Scorsese.

Cristine

I was expecting more of Scorsese, he just did the minimum... even I could have directed the Stones; it's just a concert in a cinema. This is to prove that the Stones "keep me happy"... even in such a badly made movie......... 10 for the Stones, 0 for Scorsese.

Les Molloy

The meet and greet, with the Clintons, has to be the most stomach churning disappoinment I have ever seen. "So pleased to meet you Dorothy," sucked up a Stone, shaking hands with Clinton's Mother or Mother-in-Law. Don't get me wrong. I am a BIG Stones' fan, having seen them through all their decades, but after that show, of Knight like, grovelling they should have started the set with "ALL SOLD OUT"! Perhaps even a better name for the film. I must admit I have an inbuilt resentment for these smallish gigs, where The Stones say they want to be close to their fans. The exact opposite always occurs and, in this instance, it's obvioulsy Bill Clinton's extended family and of course the usual hum drum of record company people, radio hams and film company runners! The archive footage was fantastic, but we can't thank Scorsese for this, during which we catch a glimpse of the back of Brian Jones's head, Bill Wyman full on but Mick Taylor is nowhere to be seen. Contrary to as it may seem, I enjoyed the film. Christine Aguilera is a great rocker, a sentiment I am sure Mick Jagger would concur, as rubbed shoulders with her during "Live With Me". With The Stones and Scorsese working together I was expecting more. I have seen the same, week in week, out on MTV.

Les Molloy

The meet and greet, with the Clintons, has to be the most stomach churning disappoinment I have ever seen. "So pleased to meet you Dorothy," sucked up a Stone, shaking hands with Clinton's Mother or Mother-in-Law. Don't get me wrong. I am a BIG Stones' fan, having seen them through all their decades, but after that show, of Knight like, grovelling they should have started the set with "ALL SOLD OUT"! Perhaps even a better name for the film. I must admit I have an inbuilt resentment for these smallish gigs, where The Stones say they want to be close to their fans. The exact opposite always occurs and, in this instance, it's obvioulsy Bill Clinton's extended family and of course the usual hum drum of record company people, radio hams and film company runners! The archive footage was fantastic, but we can't thank Scorsese for this, during which we catch a glimpse of the back of Brian Jones's head, Bill Wyman full on but Mick Taylor is nowhere to be seen. Contrary to as it may seem, I enjoyed the film. Christine Aguilera is a great rocker, a sentiment I am sure Mick Jagger would concur, as rubbed shoulders with her during "Live With Me". With The Stones and Scorsese working together I was expecting more. I have seen the same, week in week, out on MTV.

Jonah

Anyone under the age of 60 with any self respect should avoid this awful film. Any material starring mick jagger should be destroyed on release (remember "Dancing in the street" and "Freejack"!).

Jonah

Anyone under the age of 60 with any self respect should avoid this awful film. Any material starring mick jagger should be destroyed on release (remember "Dancing in the street" and "Freejack"!).