The Rolling Stones have never shied away from the camera. With films like Gimme Shelter and Shine a Light, they’ve frequently let their on-stage performance be documented for all to see. But they’re also smart enough to know concert documentaries have a limited commercial appeal. So back in the early nineties, they came up with the idea of making a concert movie with a scripted story between the songs.

A script was written, the band approved it, but eventually the studio pulled the plug. And while that’s sad on its own, the saddest part is that the script was written by Ben Stiller and Judd Apatow, two men who’d go on to conquer the world of comedy in Hollywood.

On the recent press tour for his new film This is 40, Apatow talked about the experience. Read his quotes below. Read More »

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The Rolling Stones began performing in 1962. That’s a superhuman 50 straight years of rocking, rolling and though they’ve been the subjects of some of the most famous documentaries of all time, a new one will now attempt to tell their five decade long story.

Crossfire Hurricane, directed by Brett Morgen (The Kid Stays In the Picture, June 17, 1994) will feature brand new historic footage from the band’s earliest days all the way through their 50th anniversary. It’ll open in the UK this October before premiering on HBO and the BBC later this year. Read more after the jump. Read More »

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Wow. After watching The Carter, the new all-access documentary on Lil’ Wayne, one might consider recommending it as the best doc about a hip hop icon ever. The problem with this superlative lies in its limitation. Similar to labeling Lil’ Wayne a rapper—even “the best rapper alive” as many profess—and leaving it at that, labeling this a great hip hop doc restricts it to the confines of a niche or genre coated in personal taste and stigmas. That is to say The Carter is foremost a fascinating portrait of a remarkable, modern artist and celebrity who has cooked most if not all bridges for comparison.

In The Carter we experience the exact moment when Wayne calmly finds out, overseas and perma-high, that his latest album, Tha Carter III, has sold one million plus physical units in its first week. As his friend and manager, Cortez Bryant, tells the camera, Wayne now undisputedly ranks with the world’s top pop stars; and this doc ranks with the best of the year. It’s also highly difficult to cite precedent for a film so privy to a superstar’s love of, and possible dependency on, drugs. Clearly, the recent, This Is It, failed in this regard.

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With Martin Scorsese’s Rolling Stones doc, Shine a Light, booked to play theaters in April, I find myself much more interested in Ruby Tuesday, an animated film from Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais, the writers of the Beatles musical Across the Universe, that will utilize the Stones’ music in a similar fashion.

“We wrote an animated film before the strike that features the music of The Rolling Stones,” says Clement on Movieweb. “Obviously, that is not just a kiddy film. You can’t do The Stones, and think it will just be for kids. We hope that will get made in the next couple of years.”

Adds Frenais…

“The film was supposed to start next month. It is called Ruby Tuesday. It is going to be CGI. It will be interesting. The animation is actually going to be done in Paris. It will be some pretty hip animation. It is amazing how many French animators work at Dreamworks. When we were doing Flushed Away, we were over there. It was like a foreign campus.”

The film’s title derives from the eponymous hit single, about a charmingly quixotic and possibly tragic groupie, by the Rolling Stones from their 1966 album Between the Buttons. Whether the main character in the film, a single mother searching for happiness in New York City, was a groupie at some point in her life is unknown, but the writers say that while the film will be “edgier” than most American-released animation today, it’s not R-rated fare a la Ralph Bakshi’s Fritz the Cat and Heavy Traffic.

It’s about time the Rolling Stones, whose contributions and influence to film are not slight, had their own Yellow Submarine, don’t you think?

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