Written by: Mardik Martin (treatment)
Directed by: Martin Scorsese
Starring: Robbie Robertson, Muddy Waters, Neil Young
My rating is simple, Watch It, It Depends, Skip it. Read my previous TV reviews!
Martin Scorsese filmed The Band's farewell concert, turning it into a documentary. The Band was a Canadian-American rock group during the '70s and beyond. Their most famous song may be "The Weight," with the refrain "Take a load off Fannie; Take a load for free."
This is the greatest concert I've ever watched, and many critics claim this as the best concert film period. If you like rock the music is amazing, featuring many guest performers crossing multiple genres.
This is a documentary you want put on as background noise after you finish because the music is that good. This was the final concert of The Band, though they did later reform. The Band is composed of
Rick Danko, Levon Helm, Garth Hudson, Richard Manuel, and Robbie Robertson.
The very first frame states "This film should be played loud!" I can't disagree. While I enjoyed all the music, the song I recognized was "The Weight," though I didn't know the name.
Even from the start you can tell there's a fair amount of artistry to this, with the framing of shots and editing to the juxtaposition of interviews and songs.
This captures what it's like to be a touring band. It gets into a little bit of how they create their songs. My only criticism is that Scorsese primarily interviews only Robbie Robertson, all but dismissing the other band members. While Robertson is credited at least partially as writing on all of their songs, Helm contends the fact.
While the film was edited to remove playing or singing mistakes, Helm was the only performer who didn't need editing.
This is a window into the time period. The group talks about the rigors of touring and how it's claimed the lives of many great performers. they worked with Bob Dylan and their guest performers all had a connection to the band. Again the music is absolutely fantastic.