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 »
Through concert performances and interviews, this film offers us an "inside look" at this famous rock group, "The Who". It captures their zany craziness and outrageous antics from the initial formation of the group to its major hit "Who Are You", and features the last performance of drummer keith Moon just prior to his death.Written by
Concorde - New Horizons (with permission).
At the end of the opening "Smothers Brothers" clip where The Who demolish their equipment, Keith Moon's bass drum with the Who logo on it explodes, and the very same logo spirals forward to the middle of the screen. Then the words of the title of the film pop up from the bottom of the screen while Pete Townshend smashes Tommy Smothers' acoustic guitar. See more »
The version of the film that appears on Turner Classic Movies features The Who's Rock N' Roll Circus performance window-boxed and surrounded by flashing marquee lights in the manner of the film's original theatrical presentation. See more »
In some ways this is best the movie ever. Errrm... make that one way. Let me put it this way. If you're as big a fan of The Who as I am, The Kids Are Alright is as alright as movies get. Director Jeff Stein was probably an even bigger Who-fan than yours truly, and you get that vibe from every aspect of the movie: the chosen footage, the editing and the chosen narrative (or lack thereof) chosen. TKAA is a documentary, but unlike documentary-makers fashionable today Stein didn't set out to make his points in a Michael Moore-ish style, with himself as the narrating voice-over and on-screen interviewer. Stein lets the footage speak for itself, only slightly suggesting conclusions that can be made through editing, and only once serving as an off-screen interviewer.
If there is one point Stein tries to make, it is that the Who were the most interesting/wild/intelligent/contradictory/refined/loony/crude Rock 'n' Roll band in the world. And therefore the most fascinating. He didn't have to turn to the viewer and say that in person: the Who themselves are their own best spokespeople. The Kids Are Alright isn't ABOUT the Who, it IS the Who. The a-chronological editing, live as well as mimed performances and contradictory quotes spanning two decades make a rich collage of fifteen years of Rock 'n' Roll mayhem.
Editing was Stein's weapon of choice to make TKAA a double-edged sword. People can try to find a deeper meaning in the director's decisions and/or draw their own conclusions. Or you can just kick back and relax and let it be the ultimate party-DVD. Watching this movie, you really get the sensation of hanging with the Who, addiction, hearing problems, impromptu strip sessions and all. And with Roger Daltrey, John Entwistle, Keith Moon and Pete Townshend around, there's never a dull moment.
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