Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Scorsese's "Shine A Light": The Best Movie Ever?

So, Betty has seen it twice on the IMAX now!

What impresses her most about the Stones' musicianship is how tight they are as a unit (Watts can't falter, Jagger can't forget) and yet how loose, relaxed, and warm their playing remains, especially the interplay between Woods and Richards on guitar. They know no boundaries! Rhythm? Lead? Nah, we'll just do everything. It's not blues, it's not rock, it's not messy, it's not clean, it's not a riff, it's not an's Rolling Stones guitars, sirs.

The film brings up questions even as it clobbers you with sound and image. Why do the Stones keep playing? The answer seems infuriatingly elementary, even as the roll on and on and on, the branded Super Bowl champs of rock. Also - what is the point of a rock band full of 60 year olds? Why should that be weird/problematic when they play this well and alight an audience with thrills and chills as effectively as anyone? Can old songs keep sounding new when played live, to the point that new songs aren't necessary? Betty was raised on recorded music, so this whole live band for life thing is quite new to her, ears and brain still lodged between naive headphones. Also, cover songs -- if you can play 'em, you're as great as the greats! Who knew?

Also- in this movie, Scorsese manages to both continue his obsession with "feeling, not thinking" artists (see also the Dylan pic "No Direction Home") while simultaneously poking fun at his own uptight artistry, here on display in glorious quantities.

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