The Last Waltz – Filtered
Thanksgiving, 1976, at San Francisco’s Winterland: the Band performs its last concert after 16 years on the road. Some numbers they do alone, some songs include guest artists from Ronnie Hawkins (their first boss, when they were the Hawks) to Bob Dylan (their last, when as his backup and as a solo group, they came into their own). Scorsese’s camera explores the interactions onstage in the making of music. Offstage, he interviews the Band’s five members, focusing on the nature of life on the road. The friendships, the harmonies, the hijinks, and the wear and tear add up to a last waltz.
The Band’s last performance with tons of special guests make this Scorsese film a must for lovers of music. I was drawn into the film from the first frame which reads, “This Film Should be Played LOUD.” A fantastic performance from all of the band members along with some really special interviews will turn anyone into a fan of the music. This film certainly plays off of the love of the performers from the late 60’s and mid 70’s to move it along, but the style that it is shot in makes that really quite okay. The only problem was the complete abuse of smoking from the band, but that was a thing of the times, and can’t really be avoided.