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Shine A Light (2008) – Martin Scorsese


Martin Scorsese film of The Rolling Stones


Shine a Light is a 2008 British-American concert film directed by Martin Scorsese documenting The Rolling Stones‘ 2006 Beacon Theatre performances on their A Bigger Bang Tour.[1] The film also includes archive footage from the band’s career and marked the first utilisation by Scorsese of digital cinematography for his films, with it being used for the backstage sequences. The film takes its title from the song of the same name, featured on the band’s 1972 album Exile on Main St. A soundtrack album was released in April 2008 on the Universal label. This is also the last movie by Paramount Classics, as the company merged into its sister company Paramount Vantage after the movie was released

Scorsese filmed the Rolling Stones at the Beacon Theatre on October 29 and November 1, 2006, but the performance footage used in the film is all from the second show. The music was recorded, mixed and co-produced by Bob Clearmountain. The audio recording was done on the Silver Truck with David Hewitt. The concert footage is preceded by a brief semi-fictionalized introduction about the preparations for the shows, and is intercut with historical news clips and archival interviews with band members.

The shows, which were added to the tour schedule for the purposes of the film shoot, featured a different set list than was typical of other shows on the tour (see below), and were noted for their star-studded crowds, including former United States President Bill Clinton and his wife, Hillary Clinton, who was then a United States Senator, and former President of Poland Aleksander Kwasniewski.[2][3]

The performances benefitted the Clinton Foundation, a charity founded by Bill Clinton, who gave a short speech at the October 29 performance. The film also shows Jack White, Buddy Guy and Christina Aguilera performing with the Stones.

Songs on film

Most of the performance footage was culled from the second night of filming. All songs are written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, except the ones which are noted.

  1. Jumpin’ Jack Flash
  2. Shattered
  3. She Was Hot
  4. All Down the Line
  5. Loving Cup” – with Jack White
  6. As Tears Go By” (Jagger/Richards/Oldham)
  7. Some Girls
  8. Just My Imagination” (Norman Whitfield/Barrett Strong)
  9. Far Away Eyes
  10. “Champagne & Reefer” (Muddy Waters) – with Buddy Guy
  11. Tumbling Dice” (followed by band introductions)
  12. You Got the Silver
  13. Connection” (incomplete/cut with 1999 interview clips)
  14. Sympathy for the Devil
  15. Live with Me” – with Christina Aguilera
  16. Start Me Up
  17. Brown Sugar
  18. (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction
  19. Shine a Light” (incomplete; audio only)

Additional acoustic instrumental numbers are also played during the closing credits:

  • Wild Horses
  • “Only Found Out Yesterday” (Richards)

Noting Martin Scorsese’s frequent use of Rolling Stones music in his scripted films, Mick Jagger has joked that Shine a Light may be the only Scorsese film that does not include “Gimme Shelter” in its soundtrack.[7]

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