Saturday, 14 August 2010

Musical Swan Songs

I'm not a rabid Beatles fan but thought I'd watch the Let It Be documentary as it's the only film of theirs I'd never seen but jesus I wish I hadn't bothered as it's a right old mess. Sure there's plenty of rehearsal stuff, informal studio banter and a smattering of the famed bickering though they seem to get on better than I'd thought but I hadn't expected it to be so amateurish, badly edited and just plain ugly. According to wikip it was shot initially for TV on 16mm then blown up to 35mm for it's cinema release but the result is hideous looking more like badly composed home footage than anything else. Other than the poignant roof top gig at the end it's not worth your time.

Scorcese's The Last Waltz on the other hand is a magnificent triumph, a beautifully shot concert peppered with interesting interview segments and an amazing array of artists supporting The Band in their swan song appearance. Though I don't own a single album by The Band this film has been a late night, drunken favourite of mine for some years and probably will be for some time to come - a film so bursting with joie de vivre and the love of music that I doubt it'll ever be matched.

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