The Last Waltz (1978) is a English,Middle English movie. Martin Scorsese has directed this movie. Robbie Robertson,Muddy Waters,Neil Young,Van Morrison are the starring of this movie. It was released in 1978. The Last Waltz (1978) is considered one of the best Documentary,Biography,Music movie in India and around the world.
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.
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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.
This movie was only a name to me until I saw it last year. Immediately, I was riveted by everything about it. I've always been a casual fan of The Band, and of Levon Helm in particular. However, I'd never been bowled over by Bob Dylan, except as a songwriter, so much of The Band's work remained unknown to me as well. I wouldn't say I've become a rabid fan, but I am much more interested in their work, now. It's a Scorsese film--how could it not be beautifully photographed, but Scorsese managed a difficult feat: he keeps himself out of the movie, except as interviewer during those sequences. This is not really Scorese's vision of a rock concert. It happened mostly organically, certainly with mistakes, gaffes and grit. This is part of its charm. There are better singers than the guys in The Band, but few better musicians. This can be illustrated with Robbie Robertson in the Clapton song: Clapton's guitar strap comes off and Robertson, with one beat, picks right up on the solo. It looked planned, but wasn't. Joni Mitchell was notoriously hard to back up, due to her original guitar tuning, and ragged song phrasing, but bassist Rick Danko fills in every space with intricate bass figuring. Perhaps we have become too accustomed to the overwrought, over-hyped, overproduced, overexposed, shiny gack that passes for popular music to appreciate the raw, the imperfect, the sheer humanness of this music. Scorsese shows it all. The guys in The Band were largely worn out and sometimes strung out in the interviews. They are tired, scrawny, empty-eyed from the excesses of the road. Rick Danko is hovering on the ragged edge, as his band is dissolved, and he says his goal is to "keep busy." Richard Manuel looks lost as he says "I just want to break even." These are two musicians who desperately needed the music, but who were murdered by the road. We see their bleak destinies in their eyes in this film. It is bittersweet certainly, but also a moment in time, crystallized into something great by the music, the love of friends, the willingness of the director to simply stand back and allow the music to happen. It also reminds us what good music used to sound like and makes me wish could exist again.
In the words of Robbie Robertson, "The Last Waltz" began as a concert and turned into a celebration. There is no word that can be used to describe "The Last Waltz" better than 'celebration'. This is a celebration of The Band, and of music, specifically American music, which The Band loved and played so many styles of. "The Last Waltz" is a concert film, and there's a common sentiment outside of the rock fan community that such films can never be true art films. If proof exists that this is not true, "The Last Waltz" is it. The film is brilliantly directed by Martin Scorsese, who captures this incredibly powerful and remarkable performance with skill that can't be described as anything other than amazing. This film looks absolutely stunning. What else can one ask for other than a film that looks pristine and beautiful, and contains some of the best music ever written? Scorsese is a smart filmmaker and knows that he could add to the film by including short interview segments with the members of The Band, all of which are relevant to and enhance the film. The beauty of "The Last Waltz" is its simplicity. The Band were probably the most unpretentious major musical group there has ever been. They were interested in nothing other than playing good music, and Scorsese, at least in this instance, is not interested in doing anything other than creating a simple, true document of a memorable, great musical event. That's what he does, he captures a brilliant concert where the addition of celebrity musical guests does not cheapen it at all, but makes it a true celebration of music. Muddy Waters, Paul Butterfield, Joni Mitchell, Neil Diamond, Van Morrison, Eric Clapton, Dr. John, Neil Young... the list goes on and on. Phenomenal musicianship, phenomenal film-making, a phenomenal film all around. One of the best and most joyous films ever made. 10/10
Forget "Woodstock". Forget "Gimme Shelter". "Let It Be'? Forget that too. This is, truly, THE greatest rock and roll film ever made. Why? Well, try for a moment to forget that the actual performance itself features the great artists it does (including The Band) and focus on the film itself. This film is shot in 35mm format which gives the picture pristine look (as opposed to all other previous rock films, which were shot on 16mm). But it's not just a spralling work, this is also well executed as well. By that, I mean the production value is outstanding. The lighting is unlike any rock concert I've seen (and I've seen many). The camera work is top-notch (apparently it was done by the best in Hollywood at the time). It's also easy to see that a great deal of planning went into the production. Other concert films (Woodstock, Monterey Pop) suffer from a "last minute scramble" look that simply isn't there with "Waltz". Add to that the shear magnitude of what The Band had undertaken. Imagine learning, arranging and performing so many songs in so many styles by so many artists in one night with only one take of each allowed. When that is taken into consideration, you have to have a degree of respect for them. Of course, I'm bias. I'm Canadian, as were 4/5ths of The Band. My only critique would be a technical one. It seems Rick Danko redubbed all of his bass playing. Whether this is attributed to a technical problem or unhappiness with his performance is unclear. However, what is clear is that what you hear the bass doing in the audio and what you see on the screen are completely different.
If you, as a music lover, have ever wondered what it would be like to see a concert starring the very cream of the crop from the sixties and seventies, you have that opportunity now. Martin Scorcese has produced a film that should be mandatory viewing for anyone who calls themselves a rock lover. While all the performances are memorable, Van Morrison, Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton and, of course, The Band are incredible. Beyond the music, the very premise of the concert is amazing: A big bang to end the era, thanksgiving dinner for thousands, a wicked lineup, great music and some really enlightening interviews. The Last Waltz is a must see if you are a fan of the rock&roll genre, as The Band and friends not only play their hearts out, but also pay tribute to the sound that we all know and love. Watch it, you won't regret the time spent.