Aging Cuban musicians whose talents had been virtually forgotten following Castro's takeover of Cuba, are brought out of retirement by Ry Cooder, who travelled to Havana in order to bring the musicians together, resulting in triumphant performances of extraordinary music, and resurrecting the musicians' careers.
Originally filmed in December 1968, "The Rock and Roll Circus" was originally intended to be released as a television special. The special was filmed over two nights and featured not only ... See full summary »
Thanksgiving, 1976, San Francisco's Winterland: the Band performs its last concert after 16 years on the road. Some numbers they do alone, some songs include guest artists from Ronnie Hawkins (their first boss, when they were the Hawks) to Bob Dylan (their last, when as his backup and as a solo group, they came into their own). Scorsese's camera explores the interactions onstage in the making of music. Offstage, he interviews the Band's five members, focusing on the nature of life on the road. The friendships, the harmonies, the hijinks, and the wear and tear add up to a last waltz. Written by
Shot on Thanksgiving 1976 at the Winterland Ballroom in San Francisco, Ca. See more »
During Garth Hudson's solo in the song "Stagefright", the entire song cuts forward approximately 25 seconds. See more »
[Speaking about Ronnie Hawkins]
He called me up, and I said, "Sure I'd like a job. What does it mean? What do I do?" And he said, "Well, son, you won't make much money, but you'll get more pussy than Frank Sinatra."
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During the United Artists opening logo the sound of the filmmakers getting ready to shoot the first sequence of the film (Rick Danko playing pool, which it leads right into) can be heard. See more »
Martin Scorsese's documentary has been labelled a time capsule of an era, and whilst this type of reference usually sounds overstated, there is no doubting the accomplishment of this film as an event. Many use the documentary 'Woodstock: 3 Days of Peace and Music' as the ultimate example of a music-doco, but whilst the music in The Last Waltz is actually on par with the great performances of Woodstock (bar Jimi Hendrix[there's no substitute]), the thing which elevates The Last Waltz is the photography.
This was the first music doco to be shot on 35mm and watching the concert, you'd think that each performance was carefully choregraphed over a few weeks of shooting rather than over one night. Special thanks must be given to Cinematogrpaher Michael Chapman for his efforts on this film. The look of the film is what elevates it's overall appeal, because the music was always going to be epic, especially with the cavalcade of great names performing. This is just great filmmaking from contemporary cinema's most accomplished filmmaker. And how about that haunting theme that both starts and ends the film. Just great.
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