A filming of the 1990 Rolling Stones "Steel Wheels" concert that traveled Europe. This was filmed in the IMAX process, which allows the film to be projected in a size ten times the size of a regular 35mm projected image.
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In 1989, the Rolling Stones go on their "Steel Wheels" tour: Jagger, Richards, Watts, Wood, and Wyman, backed by three singers, a sax, four horns, and two keyboards. In Turin, Berlin, and London, they perform on a gigantic stage in front of masses. The staging includes huge air-filled figures of women and of a wolf; there are fireworks and a light show. On stage, the musicians are sometimes yards apart, with Jagger racing up and down wide staircases that project like wings to the left and right of the stage. All the while, the music pours forth, sixteen songs in all, from "Satisfaction" and "Sympathy for the Devil" to "Start Me Up" and "Rock and a Hard Place." Written by
Originally shot with 8 IMAX cameras outfitted with the first long load film magazines. 5 concerts in 3 cities. The magazines were so huge and the ballistics of the loading so unpredictable, there was no guarantee of complete coverage of any song in any single concert. Eventually trying to cut this on a flatbed proved impossible. Recently re-released EditDroids were in Toronto on various projects and one was custom configured with the help of the folks at Lucas in Los Angeles. All 35mm "twist reduction" work print was reassembled in original rolls, transfered to video and recorded on one-off laser videodiscs. The 8-headed Droid could load all data bases and imaging for a single song in all concert locations. The editors could jump to any point in a song, see what was available (or not) then jump to the same spot in all subsequent concerts. The trick was tracing back from the Droid data through laserdisc data through video data back to 35mm stepdown print edge code and ultimately to the original IMAX neg - frame accurately to produce the neg cut list that needed to sync with the original 64 track digital recordings. See more »
I had high hopes for this IMAX film. To say I was disappointed would be an understatement. What should have been a revolutionary concert film turns out to be 85 minutes of the Mick Jagger show. Now, that's really not a big surprise as he is, after all, a legendary frontman for a legendary rock band. But seeing him (and to a lesser degree Keith Richards and Ron Wood) in IMAX proportions, posturing around the stage and "playing" with the huge blow-up dolls is more than anyone can handle. The emphasis here was NOT on the music, but on their obvious reactions to being filmed by a huge IMAX camera. I have only seen the Rolling Stones in concert once (for their 1999 tour), but I have to say that this concert was fairly disappointing. The entire concert was not filmed, as you can see the list of songs near Charlie Watts' drum kit several times in the movie and a few--Harlem Shuffle, Angie, Jumping Jack Flash--were not filmed. I could not believe they left off the latter song, one of the Stones' signature songs. The songs they did perform were over-extended versions of other classics like Satisfaction, where Mick climbs the rafters and catwalks and just acts silly. I glanced around the IMAX theater while this movie was playing, and everyone was frozen in their seats. It would have been a good opportunity to really "cut loose" and move to the huge images and sound, but no one did. The filmmakers really missed out on an opportunity to film a great concert with "At the Max." You are left with the feeling that the Stones were patting themselves on the backs for "revolutionizing" the concert film.
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