Gimme Shelter

Gimme Shelter

Blu-ray Disc - 2009
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"Called the greatest rock film ever made, this landmark documentary follows the Rolling Stones on their notorious 1969 U.S. tour. When three hundred thousand members of the Love Generation collided with a few dozen Hells Angels at San Francisco's Altamont Speedway, Direct Cinima pioneers David and Albert Maysles and Charlotte Zwerin were there to immortalize on film the bloody slash that transformed a decade's dreams into disillusionment".
Publisher: [United States] : Criterion Collection, c2009, c1970.
Edition: Blu-ray Widescreen ed.
ISBN: 9781604652215
1604652217
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (91 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in.
Summary: "Called the greatest rock film ever made, this landmark documentary follows the Rolling Stones on their notorious 1969 U.S. tour. When three hundred thousand members of the Love Generation collided with a few dozen Hells Angels at San Francisco's Altamont Speedway, Direct Cinima pioneers David and Albert Maysles and Charlotte Zwerin were there to immortalize on film the bloody slash that transformed a decade's dreams into disillusionment".
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contentnausea
Sep 15, 2017

A dark portrait of the end of the 60s and the destructive cluelessness of celebrity. The Stones were already irrelevant by this time in their career and somehow they've hung on. If you're thinking about listening to anything they recorded after Let It Bleed, just watch this instead.

s
spikemore
Apr 15, 2017

I watched this film again after many years and still find it fascinating. I also recently read Joel Selvin's book, 'Altamont : the Rolling Stones, the Hells Angels, and the Inside Story of Rock's Darkest Day,' which is very good and provides a lot of context for what happens in the movie. For all the chaos and violence depicted in 'Gimme Shelter', the scene that stands out most for me is the one with the Stones at Muscle Shoals Sound Studios blissfully listening to a playback of the just-recorded 'Wild Horses.'

p
PHILLIP GARY SMITH
Aug 18, 2016

A great documentary of a legendary benefit concert that seems to have been managed by an organization called Murphy's Law: If it could go wrong, it did. Yet, the music played, and the times are presented right in one's face like they really were. Besides, where else would you ever see the notorious Hell's Angel leader Sonny Barger not only on film but on stage arguing with the Rolling Stones. Then you hear that Jefferson Airplane's lead singer Marty Palin got knocked out by a punch from a Hell's Angel. I only wonder what he must've said to them to get that. The music is glorious, Tina Turner marvelous and good lookin'. You weren't there; this is a way to pretend you were, with a one-of-a-kind stage pass.

v
VRMurphy
Nov 10, 2015

Meh. I'm a big Stones fan but am learning that I am not so much a fan of Maysles films. Muddy sound, so-so cinematography (I do understand they were often filming in less-than-desirable circumstances).

I have seen this Maysles Bros. film several times over the years. I have always enjoyed it, but watching it recently, it blew me away. GIMME SHELTER documents the Rolling Stones' U.S. tour at the end of 1969. There is quite a lot of footage of the Stones performing at Madison Square Garden that November (the same concert featured on GET YER YA-YA'S OUT). What struck me was how lifeless the band -- Mick Taylor, Keith Richards, Bill Wyman and Charlie Watts -- is behind the prancing, preening Jagger. Robotic but kicking out the jams like no other. Amazing, full-bodied, precise rock'n'roll. Then the Stones are at Muscle Shoals to cut some new tracks ("Brown Sugar"). Then it's off to San Francisco to haggle (Melvin Belli representing the band) over a location for a free concert. The Stones missed out on Woodstock and were trying to recreate the magic. What follows is a movie masterpiece: the Hell's Angels riot at Altamont Speedway where a homicide, a knifing, is caught on film. The murder takes place while Jagger is performing "Under My Thumb." It is a truly awesome scene. There are two young Hippies, a guy and a girl, standing right in front of Jagger while Jagger is looking out into the crowd as the Angels attack people. The camera catches the young Hippie guy slowly shaking his head at Jagger and mouthing, "No. No." It is like seeing a Biblical event take place in real time.

r
RainbowRabbit
Feb 10, 2012

This is much more than another concert album by the Stones. This is a documentary of a tragic event, the knifing and death of a man in front of the stage as Jagger sang. The Sixties were not all love and flowers, and many youth were pushy to the point of violence. See the Isle of Wight concert film from 1970. At Altamont, poor planning and control allowed events to get out of hand. Jagger - seen to have the audience in his hands in many concert settings - clearly was powerless in this case. The music dominates the first half of this documentary, but events take over in the second half, as the maelstrom began to spiral. The accompanying booklet includes several essays by participants in events, which give the film a context.

rocknrollphilip Dec 22, 2011

What I find particularly interesting about the dvd re-issue of this brilliant work is the essay booklet inside. One significant fact revealed in one of the essays, though not in the movie itself, is that a dispute over RIGHTS for the film is what necessitated the last minute relocation to the speedway.

b
biblioholic
Aug 04, 2010

The Stones of the late 60's and early 70's are a disease I've never gotten over. Let It Bleed, Get Yer Ya-Ya's Out, Sticky Fingers, and Exile on Main St. have fascinated me since I was in my mid-teens.

I watch this film every year. At first, it was for the music, but now that I've begun to understand the cultural and political milieu of the Bay Area at that time, it takes on the inexorability of a Greek tragedy or a train wreck. Or a Greek train wreck. Interesting related material is Sam Culter's recent memoir, and Hunter Thompson's "Hell's Angels".

Favorite moment? It's a toss-up, between Keef wiggling to Brown Sugar, and Mick Taylor listening to Wild Horses.

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