'The Rolling Stones: Sympathy For The Devil 4K'
(The Rolling Stones / 4K Restoration Blu-ray + DVD / NR / 2018 / ABKCO Films)
Overview: Politics, social issues and the Rolling Stones' career were all at a pivotal point-a moment of volatility that threatened to boil over-in 1968.
This Jean-Luc Godard film from that year captures all of the above as you watch as a fly on the wall during the band's creation of one of their defining tracks.
4K Blu-ray Verdict: Now released as a very special 50th Anniversary 4K Restoration edition Blu-ray, restored from the original 35mm camera negative, 'The Rolling Stones: Sympathy For The Devil' is as good as it gets within this new 4K genre.
Released November 2nd, 2018 via ABKCO Films, as a tremendous Blu-ray+DVD set, you get the "One Plus One" Director's Cut (with a new commentary track), the 1968 behind-the-scenes "Voices" documentary, and a 2018 film featuring interviews with the original film's production team.
The Rolling Stones original line up of Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Brian Jones, Charlie Watts and Bill Wyman were joined by Nicky Hopkins, Marianne Faithfull, Anita Pallenberg and James Fox in the landmark session that took place at Olympic Sound Studios in London in June 1968.
In truth, this film is for true Rolling Stones or Godard fans only. If you are neither of the above you will probably have trouble sitting through the whole movie.
You see, Godard's political ramble becomes tedious at times, but watching the development of the Stones' song is priceless. Seeing the song come together as a blistering whirlwind is reward enough for repressing the urge to fast-forward through the rest of the film.
Watching the rhythm section work out the song, Mick working out the lyrics, Keith conducting the whole thing, Brian Jones playing remarkable keyboards, reminds us of the process of production. It took time. It took failures, but it became an amazing song.
In general, Jagger is stunning, and the scene that stands out most for me is the now infamous fascist bookshop moment; with the man in the purple suit spouting off his speech, demanding a salute! Priceless!
In closing, the tremendously fantastic, vivid and beautiful color grading has been supervised by the original cinematographer, Tony Richmond BSC, ASC. Richmond holds dozens of credits as cinematographer including Let it Be, and Nicolas Roeg's 'Don't Look Now,' for which he won BAFTA's Best Cinematography award in 1973.
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