The Last Waltz (1978)
Martin Scorsese's masterpiece waves goodbye to The Band with the musical celebration to end all musical celebrations.
The former Dylan backing band are joined onstage by Dylan himself, Muddy Waters, Paul Butterfield, Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, Van Morrison, Dr. John, Neil Diamond and Eric Clapton as they cover a plethora of musical genres and perform material from their own catalogue. The live performance is interspersed with interviews as band members reminisce about their career. These counterpoint the musical numbers, providing context for the film and why The Band were such an important act, worthy of a Martin Scorsese movie in the first place.
This was one of the first full scale concert films, using seven 35mm cameras and those cameras were each operated by renowned cinematographers in their own right. That means you get a film with a real cinematic quality, rather than just a film of a concert. Scorsese's cameras explore and roam the stage, almost interacting with the band, giving you the impression that you are there with them for their final farewell. It still stands up today as a movie, and still ranks alongside Scorsese's finest dramatic achievements - a remarkable feat considering that this was the man that brought us Taxi Driver, Mean Streets, Raging Bull and Goodfellas.
A supremely inventive celebration of one of rock's most loved bands, and very nearly the perfect concert film.
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