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The Reeler Blog

Scorsese's Stones Doc Goes Camera Crazy

Catching up with some moldering odds and ends around the office Wednesday, I browsed some of the literature that's surfaced since Paramount picked up North American rights to Martin Scorsese's recently undertaken Rolling Stones documentary. And while there's nothing terribly new to break -- Scorsese started shooting Sunday at the Beacon Theater, the Stones print money in their tour vehicles, etc -- I noticed some interesting bits buried in a few reports.

This from Anne Thompson:

Veteran documentary filmmaker Albert Maysles, who captured the Stones in the infamous 1970 movie Gimme Shelter, also will provide backstage coverage.

All of the sudden, the film sounds appealing. Pushing 80, Maysles' recent productivity as a cameraman and director exceeds that of most filmmakers half his age; the guy often outlasts me at parties and events around town, and where a more heartless cynic might latch onto the gimmick potential here, I'm content to suspect that Maysles is the ONLY guy you'd want lurking backstage with a camera at a Rolling Stones gig. He's probably the only guy who can keep up with them.

Except that Mick Jagger does have a sore throat these days, reports Variety, which also passed along this random bit of excess:

Scorsese, whose music movies include The Last Waltz and Bob Dylan doc No Direction Home, is using an elaborate array of equipment. On Sunday, 16 35mm cameras and a Genesis high-def camera were employed under the direction of cinematographer Robert Richardson (The Aviator). Further 16mm and 8mm cameras will be used for off-set lensing.
Look, I don't even know where you set up 17 cameras in the Beacon Theater unless you're handing them over to audience members, keeping up the grand tradition of the greatest concert film ever made, Awesome; I Fuckin' Shot That, instructing them to keep rolling under any and all circumstances, sending Merlin-haired D.P. Richardson around with a leather sap for the laggards. Rest assured that guest shooter (and belated birthday honoree) Bill Clinton would have gotten even better backstage footage than Maysles until Hillary pulled the plug. Alas, missed opportunities.

Posted at November 2, 2006 8:07 AM

Comments (1)

Mr. Maysles has been using a little DV camera that he can hold in his palm watching the view screen as he frames and follows... A hearty, heartening example, he is.

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