The Stone Roses: Made of Stone (UK, 2013)

oq5wzwb0Directed by: Shane Meadows. This is one of those times when I watch a thing and I don’t bother writing about it. What do I have to say about a music doc that I felt like seeing?  I just saw that there was a documentary about the Stone Roses and I like the Stone Roses, so I thought I’d watch it. And it’s from the director of This is England, which is supposed to be good. But music docs are always just kind of…whatever…And usually the appeal is 100% based on the viewer’s already-existing bond with the band and their music. Now, I’m not going to preach to anyone that doesn’t like the Stone Roses that they should go out and like the Stone Roses (although, if you haven’t heard their near-perfect debut album, which gained them instant and everlasting esteem, I think you’d probably like it, because it’s pretty darn good). And really, this movie about this band getting back together after a long retirement, and chronicling the cultural adoration around them from the 80’s generation, the 90’s generation, and modern people, in their hometown of Manchester, is nothing to really rave about. I loved their album, but I had no idea how disappointing their live set would be, etc, etc. BUT: I’ll be darned if this concert film/music doc doesn’t contain some of the most beautifully rendered footage of musicians and audiences interacting that I’ve ever seen in any movie. Don’t get me wrong, Shane Meadows didn’t invent slow motion, but god damn if that opening shot of Ian Brown walking down the aisle and cavorting with his adoring audience isn’t one of the most straightforwardly profound ways of documenting a musician that I’ve ever seen. And the cherry on top, the one shot that is literally the only thing that prompted me to accept this movie warmly into my heart and make a post about it, is this one amazing shot that comes near the end, during the big outdoor shows at Manchester’s Heaton Park. It’s a helicopter shot, in beautiful, majestic slow motion, circling the park, with the tremendous vantage of the human imprint that this band and their music—this one amazing album—has had upon them, all of them gathered below, bathing in the lights of the stage, and it’s dusk, juuuust about too late for the light but juuuuust in time to catch the light, and it’s fucking beautiful. This movie is worth watching just for that one shot. And if you don’t know anything about the Roses, then you should go listen to that amazing album, and get hooked, and watch this movie.

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One response to “The Stone Roses: Made of Stone (UK, 2013)

  1. Pingback: List of Judgements, Anno Domini 2016 | Offhand Reviews·

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