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Movie Review: Shine a Light

Alternate Title: It's Still Rock 'n Roll to Me

Story: Oscar winning director Martin Scorsese loves to make movies and you can feel that love all over this latest project even through the decibel level of the Rolling Stones' concert. It was filmed with 19 cameras during two nights in 2006 at The Beacon Theater in NYC to aid the Clinton Foundation's efforts with its work on climate change.

I first saw the Stones 100 years ago in Providence RI. I was hooked from the first note. I think I have aged better than they have but I certainly do not have the energy these guys still have. I wondering what I am not taking that they are? Hmm. Anyway, I digress. The concert was fun, high energy, foot stomping and frenetic. My favorite parts were the juxtapositioning of file footage clips of the Stones from the 60's and 70's in between songs. They were always smart, tongue in cheek and knew how to handle the press. They still do. They know their audiences and play to them with all of their heart and soul. Long live the Stones. If you like concert films, this one is a winner.

Acting: This is a documentary and normally this category would not apply. However, these guys are consummate performers and after 40 years or so know exactly how to rev up a crowd. While it is still entertaining I think they have moved into a different role when on stage. Mick Jagger was aware of all of the cameras and had them eating out of his hand. Keith Richards is by far the scariest of the Stones. He has not aged well at all but seems to be glad for every moment he has stolen in his seesaw life. Ronnie Wood is somewhat more sedated than the two front men and Charlie Watts is the only one who has allowed his hair to naturally gray. Guest performances by Jack White, Christina Aguilera and Buddy Guy were a welcome addition.

Predilection: I like the Stones and I like Scorsese.

Food: These guys look like they have not eaten in 40 years.

Sex Spectrum: There was a little simulated sex during the Aguilera set. She looked a bit uncomfortable and Jagger looked a bit old for that.

Soundtrack: Terrific, of course.

Visual Art: 19 cameras working all at once including the magic of Albert Maysles hand held camera.

Theater Audience: It was nice to see a number of generational families coming to see the Stones. A whole group of pre-teens were being introduced to the group by their Moms.

Squirm Scale: Keith Richards is squirmy looking.

Drift Factor: I drifted quite a bit but still enjoyed the film. The songs kept taking me back to other times.

Oscar Worthy: No

Big Screen or Rental: There are some terrific concert films. Here are a few of my favorites: Bring on the Night, Gimme Shelter, The Last Waltz, Leonard Cohen: I'm Your Man, Monterey Pop, Neil Young: Heart of Gold. Stop Making Sense and Woodstock

Length: Two hours

LOBO HOWLS: 7