Monthly Archives: April 1978

THE LAST WALTZ

In 1976 (around the time TAXI DRIVER was being released and NEW YORK, NEW YORK was being filmed), Martin Scorsese got the chance to direct (for free) the concert event of a lifetime. The Band, legendary rock & roll, country and blues musicians led by Robbie Robertson, decided to return to the site of their first gig after 16 years on the road: Winterland in San Francisco, CA. Scorsese was there with award-winning cinematographers (Michael Chapman oversaw the production, and Laszlo Kovacs was one of the camera operators!). What results is an immensely entertaining if elegiac, and ultimately bittersweet experience with memorable musical performances with the likes of Muddy Waters, Neil Diamond, Neil Young, Emmylou Harris, Joni Mitchell, the Staples (who perform my personal favorite, “The Weight,” quite wonderfully!), Van Morrison, and more. A terrific concert film classic!

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