2008 // USA // Martin Scorsese // April 12, 2008 // IMAX Theatrical Print
B - Martin Scorsese's Shine a Light, depicting a two-night Rolling Stones performance at the Beacon Theater, aims for something a little higher than mutual artistic backslapping, just not much higher. This is Stones worship at its purest, but that purity is fairly stunning. The undisciplined tendency that has at times infected Scorsese's more recent dramatic work is nowhere to be found in this endeavor. If nothing else, Shine a Light is a work of cinematic virtuosity. Shot with plethora of cameras placed jaw-droppingly close to the action, it boasts an intimacy that vividly captures the Stones' everlasting fire and their sheer joy at performing. It's dizzying to contemplate the challenge that this film must have been to edit. Scorsese doesn't strive for the genuine exploration of Gimme Shelter, but he does utilize the medium to discover something akin to a live concert experience, yet also something different and distinctly cinematic. Shine a Light has an undeniable and sustaining energy, but there's not much to it other than great music from artists you'll never be this close to again. If that's enough for you—and it should be—you'll regret missing an opportunity to catch it in IMAX.