Shine a Light & r & & r & by TED S. McGREGOR JR. & r & & r & & lt;span class= "dropcap " & I & lt;/span & love most Martin Scorsese movies and I love the Rolling Stones, so obviously I should have loved the Academy Award-winning director's concert film, Shine a Light.
Ehhh... not so much. The concert, filmed at New York City's Beacon Theater in late 2006, picks up steam as it goes on, especially whenever guest artists come out to play. And the guys, now into their 60s, are game, especially Keith Richard and Charlie Watts. But what used to be edgy and a little dangerous has become pure nostalgia.
And maybe it's because Scorsese is starstruck. He spends the entire opening sequence like a desperate fan trying to figure out their set list, and then he takes a side trip into Clinton worship, as Bill and Hillary visit the Stones. (The show is a birthday party for Bill.) He also intersperses vintage Stones video clips, and while they make for some spooky then-and-now imagery, they neither tell the band's remarkable story nor illuminate the men behind the myths.
As for the concert, it's heavily weighted toward their 1978 album Some Girls -- fitting, as that record stands as the band's love letter to New York. The high points are Mick Jagger's duet with the White Stripes' Jack White on "Loving Cup" and Keith Richards hanging up his guitar to sing "You Got the Silver." The guy is just a rock star.
But you can't avoid pondering the spectacle of AARP fodder like Jagger shaking his booty to the (apparently) adoring young women lining the front row. I do think it's cool that a band can keep doing what they do all these years, but you can't help but see the truth: The band is a shadow of its former self. It's hard not to think Jagger looks a bit silly.
Scorsese looks past all that -- and when Jagger intones those classic lines "Please allow me to introduce myself," you, too, can lose yourself in the reverie. Scorsese probably should have filmed the band 25 years ago, but Shine a Light does prove that a version of the legend lives on. (Rated PG-13)