Shine a light

  • 2009-07-16
  • By Laima Vaige

ROCK ON: Award winning director Martin Scorsese shines a light on legendary rock band The Rolling Stones in his new film, shot over two days in 2006 at a Manhattan concert.

Directed by Martin Scorsese

"Shine a light" is introduced as a documentary film by award winning director Martin Scorsese on the legendary band "The Rolling Stones" 's but it is more of a concert movie.
The film was shot in two days in autumn of 2006, filming two concerts at the Beacon Theater in Manhattan, as the band was on "A Bigger Bang" tour.
The film starts with Bill and Hillary Clinton 's as well as Hillary's mother and their guests including Poland's former president 's meeting the band before the show, with Scorsese himself frustrated at how to make the best of the filming.

This is one of the few documentary shots throughout the film.
Bill Clinton warmly opens the show and the concert kicks off. Mick Jagger at 65 is an amazing energy generator, a peel of thunder, a bolt of lightning 's he shines in all his glory at the Beacon Theater. It would be hard to find guys a third of his age who could dance like that and sing and play a variety of instruments at the same time.

In fact, from the very first song, his age 's and that of the other performers 's disappears and only professionalism and energy remain.
Keith Richards, also at 65, is a real pirate, clearly the inspirational figure for Captain Jack Sparrow's character from "Pirates of the Caribbean." Johnny Depp never denied the source of inspiration for his character. In fact, Richards played the father of Jack Sparrow in the last film, winning the Best Celebrity Cameo award at the 2007 Spike Horror Awards for the role.

In the Beacon Theater, Richards plays perfectly with Jagger, complimenting his style and counterbalancing his energetic performance with some dreamy, chilling, ecstatic guitar playing.
It is clear that the performers truly love what they do, and the few archive scenes that interrupt the concert confirm they could go on forever.

The camera mostly stays on Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, showing much less of Charlie Watts (the drummer) and Ronnie Wood (the bass guitar player).
Grey haired and straight postured Watts seems to be a secret agent on holiday, relaxed and chilling as he plays the drums. Wood, who joined the band "only" in 1974 and thus is sometimes referred to as a non-original member, plays the guitar with his usual confidence and style.

In addition to the band and a large support team, Jack White, Buddy Guy, and Christina Aguilera appear at the show and sing together with Mick 's though some sound better than others.
The atmosphere in the theater is very intimate and the audience is close to the performers. Nevertheless, it seems all the same to Jagger and the other performers 's the amount of energy and the professionalism they put into the performance could have satisfied tens of thousands of viewers.
Although the concerts are filmed in a complimentary style, it is clear where the love lies.
The camera always stays close to the main players and almost no backup musicians are filmed. Sometimes Jagger says something to a member of the band support team but it is not clear to whom and what the reaction is, because the camera does not leave his face. 

The film is rated as not suitable for children under 12-years-old for brief strong language, drug references, and smoking, but it is really not that bad. In fact, it was only an hour into the film that the audience finally heard the "f" word.

"Shine a light" is a must-see for any Rolling Stones and/or Scorsese fans, but might disappoint those who expect a documentary film or would like to see more than the just the main players.

 Opens in Latvia July 17

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