Monday, June 1, 2015

1978 - THE LAST WALTZ, the last time I watch this.

The third time on this film for me and it will be the last.  The Band, in their supposedly last appearance on stage performed  a concert at the Winterland Ballroom in San Francisco.  Robbie Robertson a guitarist with the band got Martin Scorsese involved in filming  this bash.  Scorsese brought along a team of professional cinematographers and filmed in 35 mm instead of the usual grainy 16mm these kind of shows were shot in.  The result was a film with some pretty sharp images that looked unlike anything that had been seen in a concert film before.

Half the fun this time was reading up on the behind the scenes shenanigans that went on during the concert.  Levon Helm apparently was extremely pissed at Robertson and felt the film was mostly a Robbie Robertson ego trip.  Helm felt that Scorsese was entirely focused on Robertson and one thing is for sure Scorsese seems to have a major man crush on Robertson with all of the closeups of Robertson that are inserted throughout the film. 

Well how's the film?  I have the same issues that I had with it the first time I saw it.  The Last Waltz is too damn long.  It's fun to see a lot of the guest stars such as Dr. John, Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell and Neil Young.  But really, Neil Diamond come on.  Also Scorsese's interviews with The Band are kind of stupid and incoherent with their talk of the number of skirts they chased and just some general incoherence that pervades all of their supposedly deep thoughts about music.  Apparently the drugs flowed freely during the making of this film. 

Still, the film is kind of a must see concert film.  The Last Waltz is well made and the musical numbers filmed in a studio are extremely well done.

117 minutes.

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