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Rolling Stones Shine a Light

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood March 6, 2008 at 7:06AM

While Martin Scorsese's Rolling Stone concert doc Shine a Light grabbed some flat reviews out of Berlin (here's ">Variety), I was delighted with it when I saw it Tuesday night. That's partly because Scorsese gives camera operating duties to 10 top cinematographers (Robert Richardson! Robert Elswit! Ellen Kuras! John Toll! Declan Quinn!) to shoot two Stones concerts at the Beacon Theatre in New York. The results are dazzling for those of us who get a kick out of swooping cameras and brilliant editing and the whirling Stones.
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ShinealightWhile Martin Scorsese's Rolling Stone concert doc Shine a Light grabbed some flat reviews out of Berlin (here's Variety), I was delighted with it when I saw it Tuesday night. That's partly because Scorsese gives camera operating duties to 10 top cinematographers (Robert Richardson! Robert Elswit! Ellen Kuras! John Toll! Declan Quinn!) to shoot two Stones concerts at the Beacon Theatre in New York. The results are dazzling for those of us who get a kick out of swooping cameras and brilliant editing and the whirling Stones.

Like any self-respecting Boomer, I grew up on the Stones. My 4th grade class at St. Hilda's and St. Hugh's did gymnastics to "Satisfaction." I argued to pals that the current Stones hit was called "Groovy Tuesday." I went to see Jean-Luc Godard's "Sympathy for the Devil" and the upsetting concert doc "Gimme Shelter." No dance party was complete in high school or college without "Jumpin' Jack Flash." And I attended my share of concerts, most memorably Madison Square Garden in 1969. Years later, I actually grabbed ten minutes with Jagger at Sundance for Premiere (for Enigma, I think).

Here's a clip from the Stones concert at Madison Square Garden in 1972:

There's no question that the Stones look old now. But Mick is still sexy. Sings like a devil. Dances like a dervish. And never seems out of breath. (Although he may be acting.) Other members of the band like Charlie Watts are willing to show the effort they're putting in. (This Guardian reviewer has some issues.)

Here's the trailer. The movie opens April 4.

[Originally appeared on Variety.com]

This article is related to: In Production, Genres, Directors, Box Office, Martin Scorsese, Documentaries, Musical


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.