The Film: The Last Waltz, 1978

The Principals:
Director:
Martin Scorsese. The Band is: Robbie Robertson, Rick Danko, Levon Helm,
Richard Manuel, Garth Hudson. Guest starring: Eric Clapton, Neil
Diamond, Bob Dylan, Dr. John, Joni Mitchell, Ringo Starr, Van Morrison,
Neil Young, Emmylou Harris, Paul Butterfield, Muddy Waters.
 
The
Premise:

In 1976 The Band, arguably one of the least-known yet most influential bands of all time, knew their touring career was coming to an end. To celebrate their very last show they hired a director named Martin Scorsese to shoot it, impressed by his work on films like Taxi Driver and New York, New York. Blocking every song almost note for note, Scorsese added in interviews and anecdotes with The Band, shot additional performances of iconic songs, and started the film with the very last song they played, managing to turn this incredible concert into an incredible piece of cinema.



Is it
Good:
It’s one of the first and best concert documentaries ever. Yes, it’s good. Did you see that list of performers up there? They had everyone on this thing, and Scorsese’s tight editing and multiple cameras makes it feel like you’re watching a private performance.

Just listen.



Is it
Worth

a

Look: It’s worth a look, and then about a billion listens. There’s a reason the title card says “This film should be played loud!” It’s actually illegal to play this one quietly.

Random
Anecdotes:

My dad used to listen to The Band and all sorts of classic rock and folk bands from the era, so I grew up on these songs. But it’s only till recently that I’ve owned the film, picking up the excellent blu-ray when I realized how replayable it is. I really can’t stop
watching
it- with the great picture and lossless audio it’s never looked
or
sounded better, much to my neighbors’ chagrin. This is the disc to test your surround sound with- trust me.



Cinematic Soulmates: Gimme Shelter, Monterey Pop, Woodstock.


The
Tally

So

Far

 Positive  Negative
 Pontypool Deadgirl
 State of Play The Children
 Orphan  It’s Alive
 Grace  Friday the 13th, Part 3
 Inside  Hounddog
 3000 Miles to Graceland Columbus

Day

The Last Supper  Angel

Eyes

 Things To Do In Denver
When

You’re

Dead

Highlander:

The

Source

 World’s Greatest Dad  
The Killing Hour (aka The
Clairvoyant)

 Lady Beware  
The

Neverending
Story

 Pitch Black  
Battlefield Earth
 For All Mankind   Heaven’s

Prisoners

 Splinter Adrenaline: Fear the Rush
 Blessed

by

Fire

 
 Outland  
The Kindred  
 

Top

Secret

 
 

Beer Wars

 
 
The Brood
 
The

Incredible

Hulk 

 
Undertaking

Betty

 
 Cache  
 
Taxi
Blues

 
 
Across the Universe
 
Lord of War
 
 
Dead Heat
 
 
The

Adventures

of Buckaroo Banzai
Across the

8th Dimension

 
 
Every

Which

Way But Loose

 
 
The

Entity

 
 
The

Slammin’

Salmon

 
 
Gremlins

2: The New Batch

 

Master Of The Flying
Guillotine