Shine A Light (12)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner10/04/2008

Four out of Five stars
Running time: 122 mins

Superb concert film, brilliantly directed by Martin Scorsese and featuring a high-energy, world-class performance by the Rolling Stones.

What's it all about?
Directed by Martin Scorsese, Shine A Light is a concert film in which the Rolling Stones play a gig in New York's Beacon Theatre, in aid of the Clinton Foundation. Special guests include Christina Aguilera (doing Live With Me), Jack White (doing Loving Cup) and blues legend Buddy Guy (doing Champagne and Reefer), plus Bill Clinton introducing the band.

In addition, Scorsese includes a prologue in which he plans how to film the concert (the Stones themselves are less than helpful) and there's some delightful archive footage scattered throughout, including an amusing 1965-ish clip of a youthful Mick Jagger saying that the band are probably set up for "at least another year".

The Good
Scorsese films the concert using eighteen separate cameras (and several well-known cinematographers) and the footage is expertly edited to give the gig an extremely intimate feel that works well. It also enables the cameras to concentrate on smaller details – keep an eye out for a famous movie star wearing a yellow baseball cap near the front row during Tumbling Dice.

As anyone who's ever been to a Stones concert can attest, the band still have terrific energy, despite the fact that they're all entitled to pensioner's bus passes. Jagger in particular still leaps around like a man possessed and he's genuinely exhilarating to watch.

The Bad
The only real complaint is that Scorsese indulges Keith Richards with his solo numbers and also that some of the songs go on for too long. Annoyingly, both these things occur at the expense of much-loved songs such as Gimme Shelter, Paint It Black and Honky Tonk Women, the latter two of which are listed in the final credits but don't appear in the film, despite a glimpse of a memo with Paint It Black marked out as a "must have" for Scorsese.

Worth seeing?
In short, Shine A Light is a terrific concert film that's a treat for Stones fans and the uninitiated alike. Recommended.

Film Trailer

Shine A Light (12)
Shine A Light has been reviewed by 1 users
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Content updated: 19/10/2017 01:02

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