Called “the greatest rock film ever made,” this landmark documentary follows the Rolling Stones on their notorious 1969 U.S. tour. When 300,000 members of the Love Generation collided with a few dozen Hell’s Angels at San Francisco’s Altamont Speedway, direct cinema pioneers David and Albert Maysles and Charlotte Zwerin immortalized on film the bloody slash that transformed a decade’s dreams into disillusionment. —The Criterion Collection
Documentary filmmaker David Maysles and his brother, Albert Maysles, played important roles in the development of cinema verité, designing highly portable cameras and sound equipment that gave filmmakers minimal intrusion while documenting their subjects. Before teaming up with his brother in 1957, Maysles worked as a production assistant on two Marilyn Monroe features. The Maysles brothers formed their own production company in 1962 and went on to make many documentary films for both the big screen and television. Their best-known documentaries are Salesman (1969) and Gimme Shelter (1970); the latter was a disturbing, controversial chronicle of a Rolling Stones concert during which four people were killed by the Hell’s Angels hired by the band to keep fans off the stage. The Maysles captured one of those brutal murders on film, repeatedly showing it throughout the documentary. In 1974, David Maysles was nominated for an Academy Award for Valley Curtain, the first of three documentaries… read more
With his brother David, Albert Maysles became one of the chief exponents of the “direct cinema” school of documentary filmmaking. The brothers began working as a team in 1957, each having previously been involved in film in very different ways—Albert making a documentary on Soviet mental institutions and David working as production assistant on two Marilyn Monroe movies. The Maysles brothers designed their own portable equipment to help in their goal of capturing the raw, spontaneous flow of experience, without intruding into the situations being filmed and were influenced by Robert Drew and Richard Leacock, with whom they had worked on “Primary” (1960).
Born and raised in Massachusetts, this son of Russian Jewish immigrants developed a childhood interest in photography. After receiving his MA in psychology, Maysles traveled to Russia and shot photographs inside mental hospitals. Although he was unsuccessful in selling those pictures, he did manage to obtain a movie camera from… read more
“The documentary started out as a chronicle of The Rolling… read review
Would the Hell’s Angels organization be my first pick to provide security and maintain order. Not so much, but as we all know hindsight is 20/20. This movie is a real gem and an easy recommendation… read review
It’s tough to think of this film in terms of entertainment value, because in so doing that would be missing the point. Gimme Shelter is dark, disturbing, off-putting and real. The raw emotion of… read review