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Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

FILM DETAILS
Certificate
12A
Cast
Mick Jagger
Jack White
Christina Aguilera
Ronny Wood
Keith Richards
Charlie Watts
Martin Scorsese.
Directors
Martin Scorsese.
Screenwriters
Running Time
122 minutes

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Shine A Light
Turns out you CAN get satisfaction


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Plot
A music documentary. Martin Scorsese captures the Rolling Stones during their A Bigger Bang world tour. Filmed over two nights at New York’s historic Beacon Theater in the autumn of 2006, the band's powers show no signs of waning.


Review
Shine A Light

Martin Scorsese appears only fleetingly in his most recent rock-doc, but for the 65 year-old New Yorker, Shine A Light must feel autobiographical. The Stones have cropped up throughout his filmography, their exuberant energy rattling through Mean Streets, Raging Bull, Goodfellas and Casino. He credits the band with introducing him to the Blues, and while listening to their music he visualised scenes for what would become landmark movies.

In filming a band whose music carries so much personal significance, Scorsese makes a highly personal choice, deciding against a narrative structure and opting instead for a live celebration. For him, the secret to the Stones’ continued success can be found in their concerts. And, on this evidence, those performances are electric.

Fittingly, given its place in Mean Streets, the Stones open with Jumpin’ Jack Flash and Jagger is the king of swagger, pouting and preening while gliding across the stage like Fred Astaire. Keith Richards, meanwhile, is at his cartoon best - “It’s nice to be here,” he sighs, “it’s nice to be anywhere,” cigarette erupting from his lip like a miniature firework. The quality of the band’s playing is matched by the technical accomplishments of Scorsese’s array of expert cameramen (including Gimme Shelter’s Albert Maysles), and editor, who capture the subtle nuances of each member’s performance.
Scorsese is, of course, well versed in music documentary, from his stint as an editor on Woodstock, where he helped shape a zeitgeist moment, through to The Last Waltz, his ode to ’70s super-group The Band, and No Direction Home, a surprisingly personal sketch of Bob Dylan, a man he has never actually met. But his vision of the Stones is a simpler one. Archive material and interviews are woven in with the live footage - as with No Direction Home, he delights in juxtaposing then and now - but this remains a concert film. It is Scorsese’s tribute to the music that shaped his movies, and we see the Stones through his eyes. To him they are immediate; they are dynamic; they are the best rock ’n’ roll band in the world.


Verdict
A triumph for Scorsese and a document for the band, Shine A Light is a five-star experience for Stones fans. For those less enamoured with the ageing rockers, it goes a long way to explaining their longevity.


Reviewed by Will Lawrence

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Your Reviews

Average user rating for Shine A Light
Empire Star Rating

A must for Stones fans

and anyone who cares about good music. They're still the best rock and roll band around. Great cinematography ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by jomo999 at 11:53, 05 November 2008 | Report This Post


A must for Stones fans

and anyone who cares about good music. They're still the best rock and roll band around. Great cinematography ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by jomo999 at 11:53, 05 November 2008 | Report This Post


RE: Shine A Light

I think I was expecting more from this, but it was still good. I read a review of this and it said the songs no longer had that groove the Stones used to exel at, that it was just straight rock songs now, and I can see where it comes from. Case in point: Tumbling Dice. It was a great soul-rock song, but now it's just feel-good rock (listen to the original please!). Not that the songs are bad in the film, just that the Stones are a bit tame now, and can no longer do the earlier songs justice (Sy... More

Posted by Larry of Arabia at 14:32, 22 April 2008 | Report This Post


RE: Anodyne and Little Substance, Saved Only By Scorsese

Great stuff from Marty and the Stones ,who show that as a live band they can still cut it with the best of them. The film was soo good folks in the Cinema Audience were clapping and singing along .   Loved the Champagne and Reefer song   And good mix of Classics and Rarities made this a must see concert movie 10/10  ... More

Posted by filmburner30 at 12:32, 22 April 2008 | Report This Post


RE: Anodyne and Little Substance, Saved Only By Scorsese

I'm not a Stones fan. Which isn't to say that I dislike the Stones - just that I've not had a great deal of exposure to them and, with the exception of Satisfaction, Start Me Up, and Brown Sugar, didn't know any of the songs. Despite the concert's opening being a little slow (I didn't really think much of the opening 4 tracks), this was thouroughly enjoyable and, after the mind-numbing dullness of U23D (a band I do like), a welcome confirmation that concert films can work as cinema. M... More

Posted by thedrin at 17:15, 19 April 2008 | Report This Post


RE: Anodyne and Little Substance, Saved Only By Scorsese

L: concept mike Shine A Light is highly anodyne, spanning hideously over 2 hours. The film could easily be condensed into 1 hour, keeping out the mundane interviews randomly approaching the last 30 minutes (which in my opinion was just a filling device), while retaining the fascinating archive footage of the stones and the incredible insight into Mick Jagger's beauty coupled with Keith Richards' philosophies. Although, i fully understand Scorsese's passion for TSS and his directorial ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by middleburn at 16:22, 19 April 2008 | Report This Post


RE: Shine A Light

r: Scorsese g: gger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts, Ronnie Wood sis is a career-spanning documentary on the Rolling Stones, with concert footage from their "A Bigger Bang" tour.   /b] Through out the career of legendary director Martin Scorsese, his films have always included classic songs from some of the best artists and bands, particularly the Rolling Stones. And now, for his first film after arted got him an Oscar for Best Director, is a concert film performed by the legen... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by R W at 20:32, 18 April 2008 | Report This Post


RE: Shine A Light

Two legends at both different crafts combined together and you get a enjoyable 2 hour documentary. Great songs, great band, great director, and the film you'll have to see for yourself! ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by David Dvd 1988 at 22:07, 12 April 2008 | Report This Post


Anodyne and Little Substance, Saved Only By Scorsese

Shine A Light is highly anodyne, spanning hideously over 2 hours. The film could easily be condensed into 1 hour, keeping out the mundane interviews randomly approaching the last 30 minutes (which in my opinion was just a filling device), while retaining the fascinating archive footage of the stones and the incredible insight into Mick Jagger's beauty coupled with Keith Richards' philosophies. Although, i fully understand Scorsese's passion for TSS and his directorial brilliance in this docum... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by concept mike at 14:21, 12 April 2008 | Report This Post


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