Wednesday, August 28, 2002
1. "Gimme Shelter" (1970) ï¿½ "Who's fighting and for what?" Mick Jagger asks just before a fan is stabbed to death. In one of the saddest documentaries on any subject, it's as if sensitive-eyed pioneers Albert and David Maysles anticipated what was going to happen. Their all-access pass to the poor planning and cavalier execution of the notorious Altamont concert documented another end of American innocence.
2. "This Is Spinal Tap" (1984) ï¿½ Largely improvised, this dead-on satire of rock-star pretensions is one of the funniest films ever.
3. "Stop Making Sense" (1984) ï¿½ Feature director Jonathan Demme wisely stays out of Talking Heads leader David Byrne's way, keeping his cameras almost still for the concert of a decade.
4. "A Hard Day's Night" (1964) ï¿½ The Beatles' first movie is rock's most influential film, anticipating music videos with slapstick antics as the Fab Four have fun with fame.
5. "Don't Look Back" (1967) ï¿½ One of the best examples of cinema verite chronicles Bob Dylan's bad-boy act, including his hilariously discomforting encounters with the confounded press.
6. "Woodstock" (1970) ï¿½ Can't we all just get along?
7. "American Graffiti" (1973) ï¿½ George Lucas once had a clue, carefully diagrammin the intersection between cars, girls and music when rock was young.
8. "The Last Waltz" (1978) ï¿½ Martin Scorsese brings his bravura to The Band's last concert, and everyone shows up: Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Neil Young.
9. "The Decline of Western Civilization" (1981) ï¿½ Los Angeles' punk scene was the most brutal since the Sex Pistols, but it's director Penelope Spheeris' jokey breakfast with X that wins the day.
10. "Hedwig and the Angry Inch "(2001) ï¿½ Star and director James Cameron Mitchell beautifully balances humor and pathos to tell the story of a tortured artist.