Margaret's comments: The Last Waltz is a documentary that Martin Scorsese made of the final performance of The Band at a farewell concert on Thanksgiving Day in 1976. The Band had been on the road for 16 years, often backing Bob Dylan concerts. As lead guitarist and the film's producer Robbie Robertson says '16 years is enough. Twenty years is unthinkable.' At the concert they're joined by a few friends from the industry, people like Dylan himself, Van Morrison, Muddy Waters, Joni Mitchell, Eric Clapton, Neil Young, the list goes on. And in between the performances a diminutive and somehow diminished Martin Scorsese hesitantly questions the band members about their life on the road. Shot by Michael Chapman with additional photography by others including Vilmos Zsigmond and Laslo Kovacs the film has a rich moodiness to it. The music itself is celebratory but there's a sense of ennui that pervades, there's no mistaking that life on the road has taken its toll on the band members despite the good times, the women and the drugs. And Scorsese himself was not going through a particularly good period when he made it. But the chance to see some of the great musicians of the sixties and seventies performing with The Band is not to be missed in this revamped version. It is a document of its time.
Watch 'The Last Waltz'
Friday 9 April, 11:15pm on SBS (NOTE: No catch-up at SBS On Demand)
Genre: Documentary, Music
Director: Martin Scorsese
Featuring: Robbie Robertson, Rick Danko, Levon Helm, Richard Manuel, Garth Hudson, Eric Clapton, Neil Diamond, Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, Emmylou Harris, Ringo Starr, Paul Butterfield, Dr. John, Van Morrison, Ronnie Hawkins, Mavis Staples, Roebuck 'Pops' Staples, Muddy Waters, Ron Wood, Michael McClure, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Martin Scorsese, Jim Gordon, Howard Johnson, Tom Malone, Richard Cooper, Jerry Hey, Charlie Keagle, Larry Packer