"The Last Waltz". I had not seen the film before--what an incredible document of music in an era. The intention--to use
numerous guest appearances of influences upon and contemporaries of the musical group The Band during their November 1976 farewell
concert--works extremely well. When Neil Young took the stage and began to sing, I relaxed into a bliss that had eluded me during this tire-repair-some Saturday. Although I typically disparage
idolizing celebrities, I felt about Joni Mitchell's performance
the way that Sam Gamgee felt about the elves. Although I have always disfavored Ms. Mitchell's ungracious interviews about folks like Suzanne Vega who have come after her (altho Lou Reed and Leonard Cohen are much more Vega influences than Ms. Mitchell), I have to admit that Ms. Mitchell's work can be so astounding that
she is, like Tolkien elves, rather above my likes and dislikes.
Too many highlights to mention, but it did seem to me that while the Band and Mr. Scorsese intended the film to document the end of the Band, one could also argue that the film documents the end of an era for all the bands and artists featured. It's funny to me how "The Last Waltz" seems to put a bracket around the era
of the late 60s and early 70s, while "Stop Making Sense" arguably
is the punctuation that ends the "Television/Talking Heads/Blondie/NY Dolls" era. Another metaphor is a bit less of a stretch. The Last Waltz concert was in November 1976. The Sex Pistols' "Anarcy in the UK" was just beginning to break in
November 1976. I've never been a SP fan, but there's some
symbolism someplace in the Last Waltz and "Anarchy" "happening" at essentially the same time.....
what a great film.