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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

TIFF - DAY 7 - /* the beginning of the beginning of the end of the beginning */ - The Band tangle up with Scorsese in The Last Waltz

The Band started at The Winterland - and came to a close at The Winterland.

Sixteen years was enough for Robbie Robertson - envisioning 20 years on the road was beyond fathoming for his. The Winterland show - the castle of promoter Bill Graham - would be The Band's "last waltz" “the beginning of the beginning of the end of the beginning.” The time go get out was now, because the road had claimed too many victims: Hank Williams, Elvis, Buddy Holly, Otis Redding, Jimi. So they brought together a few of their mentors, idols and friends and Scorsese's camera crew highlights their last kick on and off stage, stopping in between songs for interviews that set up the moments to come...

Shots of the crowd are at a minimum save for the beginning shots of the crowd lineup to get into the theatre, or wide shot taken of the stage that show it was a general admission floor, and photographers vying to get their pictures with old Pentax cameras.

At The Last Waltz - auch talent never to be assembled, talents at the top of their game, and then gone on to icon or legendary status - Neil Young, Joni Mitgchell, Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan, Van Morrison, Emmylou Harris, Neil Diamond.

The Last Waltz reflects a worndown band away from the stage trying to get a measure of their place in time and looking to the future - but once on the floorboards, they show their greatness and their songs with an exuberance - and playing along with the likes of Eric Clapton or Bob Dylan a reverance and joy.

The music took us everywhere physically, spiritually, psychotically...

Scorsese lends his weight to the tone of the film, setting up the key moments and bringing in the talents who were maybe not on the floor of Winterland but shows the scope of The Band's influences and their musical range bringing in gospel choirs or Emmylou Harris on Evangeline.

The Last Waltz is simply just a great film. Like all great documentaries, The Last Waltz captures the sense of a generationk, a whispering, definitive moment in time that will never be repeated,

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