“Shine A Light” – Joanna Langfield reviews

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Just call me a little rock and roller, but I had a very tough time sitting still during this Martin Scorsese/Rolling Stones concert film. What I wanted to do, watching this behind the scenes and on the stage document of the Stones performance during Bill Clinton’s 60th birthday party bash in New York City, was to get up and dance.

A must for Stones fans, the performances here include classics, some lesser played material and celebrity duets. Thanks to the extraordinary cinematography of Robert Richardson, the film audience is brought very up close and personal with the veteran rockers. We can’t help but marvel at their endurance, especially as we see the craggy effects of their lives, contrasted with historical footage in which the boys look charmingly fresh and oh so young. It’s also kind of cool to see snippets of a current interview with Ron Woods and Keith Richards; a sit down with front man Mick Jagger is notably absent. But then again, with a saucy, snarly and all out performance on stage, maybe Mick is saying all he needs to say right there.

Where the real light is shown in this picture is in its first, pre-concert chapter. Scorsese, the filmmaker, is savvy enough to include a short and tantalizingly edited prequel, explaining how fly-by-the-pants this film had to be, thanks to the Stones’ schedule, the logistics of the Beacon theater, and, perhaps, by an ambivalence on the group’s part. But it is irresistible and maybe the most revealing part of this “Light” when the four “bad boys of rock” take to the stage for a meet and greet with the Clinton entourage. Seeing Keith’s sweet expression as he reaches to shake hands with Hilary Clinton’s aged mother is downright delicious. It is then that this film really shines: glowing in the love of politics, show business, film and The Rolling Stones.

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Joanna Langfield (Archived Contributor)

Her voice is heard throughout the 50 states and around the world by more than one million listeners on her syndicated radio programs: Joanna Langfield’s People Report and Video and Movie Minute. She’s also seen and heard as a regular contributing commentator on CNN International, CNN, Fox News and CNBC. In print, her articles have been published in such high profile magazines as Video Review and McCall’s. Joanna Langfield is known for taking interviews to another level with probing looks at celebrities’ insights rather than just their latest projects. As a result, she’s secured a niche among the nation’s premier interviewers and movie critics. Joanna began her career on the production staff of a local Boston television station. She then focused her energies towards radio and produced talk shows at WMEX-AM in Boston. After moving to New York, she became executive producer at WMCA-AM for talk show personalities Barry Gray and Sally Jessy Raphael. She began hosting a one-minute movie review spot which, in turn, led to her top-rated weekend call in-show, The Joanna Langfield Show (1980-83). Joanna moved to WABC-AM to host The Joanna Langfield Show on Saturday nights from 9:00pm to midnight. It was the highest rated show in its time slot. From 1987-1989, Joanna hosted Today’s People on the ABC Radio network, which was fed daily to over 300 stations around the country. She also appeared on WABC-TV as a regular on-air contributor. In 1989, Joanna formed her radio production company, Joanna Langfield Entertainment Reports, to syndicate her radio reports. She is considered to be one of the top authoritative commentators on the entertainment industry. Read Lagfield's recent articles below. For her Women On Film archive, type "Joanna Langfield" in the Search Box (upper right corner of screen).