"Why are we fighting?" Mick Jagger says into the mic. Only it's not a peace-love-freedom statement about Vietnam or civil rights, but a frantic plea for his own crowd to keep their shit together. This is an astounding documentary, the idealism of the 60s committing suicide on film—it's sobering and mournful, clear-eyed toward both rebels and squares, and proof that, if nothing else, the music will endure.
The bloody corpse of the American dream is on display along with the ravaged hope of the 'peace and love' generation in this remarkable documentary by the Maysles brothers and Charlotte Zwerin. The infamous Altamont concert is one of legend with its hasty organization and poorly planned security that resulted in 4 deaths. The air of violence and chaos is well captured as is the Stones' interaction in its aftermath.
Dreary film that captures the essence of the time gone. As though the hippie period should have been a moment of hope, it appears now and is described by the Maysles Brothers, even if in 1970 they were unaware of this representation, as a moment of decadence in American history. The morning after Altamont is one of the most poignant scenes I know. Masterpiece. A DVD zone your library.
Saw a screening of Gimme Shelter and Grey Gardens this evening. Albert Maysles was on hand for a Q&A in between and I asked him how he felt about postmodern documentary filmmaking, a la Errol Morris. All he said was that he respected all styles except for Michael Moore's. Didn't really answer my question, but he's a brilliant filmmaker nonetheless.
You can see how the Stones cultivated the image of Rock and Roll's "bad boys" in this documentary. The ill-fated concert captured them in probably their worst hour. It is fascinating to watch how a seemingly innocent concert can go so incredibly wrong.