Tag: The Rolling Stones

March 20, 2017 /

More often than not, image and music exist on separate planes in cinema. Though movies have soundtracks and music videos give visual expression to what is otherwise left for the ear, there are only rare instances – without mentioning musicals, which are more of an adaptation of theatrical sentiment than an indigenously cinematic form – where the audio and the video are so inherently linked that they demand to be considered a whole. These cross-disciplinary experiments are marked by the palpable vitality that can come only from artists in full control of their vision.

October 21, 2014 / / Main Slate Archive


There is something to be said about timing when considering the merit of a documentary. To claim that the Maysles brothers were in the right place at the right moment in history when shooting the Rolling Stones’ 1969 tour would undoubtedly be true, but it would also belie the potency of their camera to dissect both the band and the cultural movement they were filming. There are very few gratuitous shots in GIMME SHELTER, and contrary to what one may find in other rock documentaries, concert footage is never used as filler or a mere treat for the viewer. Rather, the live performances included here are essential to the Maysles brothers’ deconstruction of rock and roll in the sixties. They are masterfully interwoven throughout the film to expose the movement’s charisma, contradictions and violent undercurrents, which inevitably converge into disaster.