Revisiting 'The Last Waltz' (2002 Video)
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The film consists of interviews with Robbie Robertson (the producer of the original film and member of The Band) and Martin Scorsese (who directed the film). I loved this because they explain how the film was made and it's a wonderful instructional video for young filmmakers. Like Hitchcock (as Robertson rightfully pointed out), Scorsese drew up his plans for the film down to the frame before they even started filming. With drawings and line by line comments about each lyric, this was NOT some home movie but a really fine-crafted film and as they explain the film making process, you really can't help but admire the work they did. An exceptional short and one that you should see.
*** 1/2 (out of 4)
Martin Scorsese and Robbie Robertson sit down for interviews in this 22-minute featurette that can be found on the film's special edition release. I'll start off by saying that 22-minutes isn't nearly enough time to really dig deep into the film so yes, those expecting a full documentary are going to be disappointment. Considering all the talent involved and the importance of the film and concert it is a shame that more people weren't interviewed but we've got to take what they give us. What we do have here is pretty good as you really get a great idea of why it was a miracle that this production even got finished. Both men talk about how it was pretty much thrown together at the last minute and very little could be done in terms of pre-production. We learn about the shortage of money and Scorsese was just coming off another film and was burned out but he states that he couldn't let this opportunity pass him by. Scorsese, always a brilliant storyteller, does a fabulous job in getting the idea of this production across from trying to figure out where to place the cameras without disrupting the concert, the way to edit the thing together and of course what was the best way to get as much footage as possible. Hearing how they used lights to trigger whenever a camera was running out of film was pretty fun as are other tricks that we learn were used to get everything on film. Both men discuss the reasons for the studio takes and it's clear that both are very happy with the end result even if it was fairly brutal getting it all.