Provided you weren’t still without power, you at least flipped by the televised pageant that occupied MSG for last December’s Sandy relief show. That footage, directed by two competing filmmakers who ultimately came together, has been shaped into a rousing, well-mixed feature, mostly attuned to the boomer bandwidth. The acts range from the holy (Bruce Springsteen doing “My City of Ruins”) to the vaguely discomfiting (does Roger Waters’s “Another Brick in the Wall” ever fit a charity context?) and barely endured (sole rapper Kanye West, triggering smirks from the denim-clad).
Even if the music leaves you cold, there’s plenty of captivating awkwardness here, like Paul McCartney listlessly watching the monitors in his dressing room, or producer Harvey Weinstein solving a tech issue by calling Google exec Eric Schmidt in the audience. Occasionally, we cut to a Red Hook bar, where the patrons seem to be drowning their sorrows to Mick Jagger’s ageless flouncing. Though the doc plays sincerity by the book, shoehorning in a ton of Jersey Shore cleanup, you get a real feeling for the crazy quilt of tristate community, bonded by crisis and “Baba O’Riley.”
Follow Joshua Rothkopf on Twitter: @joshrothkopf