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Gimme Shelter

USA, 1970

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Called “the greatest rock film ever made,” this landmark documentary follows the Rolling Stones on their notorious 1969 U.S. tour.

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Loose and purposefully manipulative with chronology, and including the onscreen intrusion of the filmmakers, the film pushed the limits of what a “rock doc” could be, and still shocks, both with its studio footage of the band laying down classic tracks, and the dark bleakness and moral fog of Altamont.
April 08, 2016
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In one of the film’s first shots, Mick Jagger prances around the stage wearing a superhero cape. [The camera] zooms in on the singer until it has him pinned in a close-up. As he struts, the camera stays tight, never letting him go. The scene changes. We’re suddenly looking at the same shot on a monitor in an editing suite, as is Jagger. Zwerin and the Maysles have the Stones under their thumb, forcing them to confront their posturing (would there be an Act of Killing without Gimme Shelter?).
May 05, 2015
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Though [Gimme Shelter is] replete with some exhilarating concert footage—notably, of the Stones performing on the concert tour that led up to the Altamont disaster—its central subject is how the Altamont concert came into being. “Gimme Shelter” is a film about a concert that is only incidentally a concert film. Yet the Maysleses’ vision of the unfolding events is distinctive—and, for that matter, historic—by virtue of their distinctive directorial procedure.
March 11, 2015
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