Gimme Shelter (4 stars)

Gimme Shelter

(E) 91min (Warner Home Video DVD retail)


The second Maysles brothers documentary to be given a new lease of life on DVD in so many months, Gimme Shelter is by far their most contentious film, and arguably the most tragic film ever made about rock’n’roll. This unflinching account of the Rolling Stones’ disastrous December 1969 Altamont concert, during which a man was murdered on camera, is the only real tangible record of the point at which, many believe, the hippy dream died. Overbearing historical context aside this is still a kickass concert film in which filmmakers David and Albert Maysles and Charlotte Zwerin perfectly captured the passion, the nihilism and the violence.

This film has been difficult to get hold of (for years the prints and VHS copies available were tawdry and damaged at best) so this full visual and audio restoration job is a real treat. Extras include an exclusive 40-page plus booklet with snapshots and essays, audio commentary by Albert Maysles and Zwerin, and collaborator Stanley Goldstein, the 1969 KSAN Radio broadcast from Altamont and backstage outtakes of the Rolling Stones at Madison Square Gardens in New York City.

The Rolling Stones

The veteran band, featuring original members singer Mick Jagger and guitarist Keith Richards, celebrates 50 years since its formation in London by playing its hits including Jumpin' Jack Flash and Brown Sugar.

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