Friday, August 21, 2009

Not safe for work, home...planet

A French site has posted the Stones' infamous 1972 tour film. The first clip has been removed, but the others still seem to be working. (You can also find it on this fine blog.) This film possesses an Eat The Document-level rarity, so, although I wasn't particularly in the mood for it, I felt I had to ACT NOW and watch the damn thing.

Director Robert Frank was given rather jaw-dropping access and made the most of it. Not surprising that the Stones shelved the film; they would probably have been arrested in half a dozen states if it had ever been screened. That's an exaggeration, of course, but safe to say it probably won't be showing at your friendly neighborhood theater anytime soon. It's boring at times, shocking at others. For all the film's high and low times, Frank is not out to titillate. This is the same guy who shot the spooky b&w photos on the Exile on Main Street cover; he is drawn to the empty, desolate America where anything--even something dull--might happen. He sure found the right cast to show this. Helps if you suffer from the same nostalgia for the era that I do, because above all else this is a fresh hit of 1972, in all its dark decadent glory. Hanging around in your underwear (no matter who drops by), always a groupie there to help you with your hangover, and, my god, all the endless hotel rooms. Did I mention that I was six years old in 1972?

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