HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
True Don Quixote, The
Babymother
Mitchells vs. the Machines, The
Dora and the Lost City of Gold
Unholy, The
How to Deter a Robber
Antebellum
Offering, The
Enola Holmes
Big Calamity, The
Man Under Table
Freedom Fields
Settlers
Boy Behind the Door, The
Swords of the Space Ark
I Still See You
Most Beautiful Boy in the World, The
Luz: The Flower of Evil
Human Voice, The
Guns Akimbo
Being a Human Person
Giants and Toys
Millionaires Express
Bringing Up Baby
World to Come, The
Air Conditioner
Fear and Loathing in Aspen
Kandisha
Riders of Justice
Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Maki, The
For Those Who Think Young
Justice League: War
Fuzzy Pink Nightgown, The
Plurality
Scooby-Doo! Moon Monster Madness
Night of the Sharks
Werewolves Within
Honeymoon
King and Four Queens, The
Stray Dolls
   
 
Newest Articles
Truth Kills: Blow Out on Blu-ray
A Monument to All the Bullshit in the World: 1970s Disaster Movies
Take Care with Peanuts: Interview with Melissa Menta (SVP of Marketing)
Silent is Golden: Futtocks End... and Other Short Stories on Blu-ray
Winner on Losers: West 11 on Blu-ray
Freewheelin' - Bob Dylan: Odds and Ends on Digital
Never Sleep: The Night of the Hunter on Blu-ray
Sherlock vs Ripper: Murder by Decree on Blu-ray
That Ol' Black Magic: Encounter of the Spooky Kind on Blu-ray
She's Evil! She's Brilliant! Basic Instinct on Blu-ray
Hong Kong Dreamin': World of Wong Kar Wai on Blu-ray
Buckle Your Swash: The Devil-Ship Pirates on Blu-ray
Way of the Exploding Fist: One Armed Boxer on Blu-ray
A Lot of Growing Up to Do: Fast Times at Ridgemont High on Blu-ray
Oh My Godard: Masculin Feminin on Blu-ray
Let Us Play: Play for Today Volume 2 on Blu-ray
Before The Matrix, There was Johnny Mnemonic: on Digital
More Than Mad Science: Karloff at Columbia on Blu-ray
Indian Summer: The Darjeeling Limited on Blu-ray
3 from 1950s Hollyweird: Dr. T, Mankind and Plan 9
Meiko Kaji's Girl Gangs: Stray Cat Rock on Arrow
Having a Wild Weekend: Catch Us If You Can on Blu-ray
The Drifters: Star Lucie Bourdeu Interview
Meiko Kaji Behind Bars: Female Prisoner Scorpion on Arrow
The Horror of the Soviets: Viy on Blu-ray
   
 
  Sympathy for the Devil Gathering No Moss
Year: 1968
Director: Jean-Luc Godard
Stars: Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Brian Jones, Charlie Watts, Bill Wyman, Anne Wiazemsky, Sean Lynch, Iain Quarrier, Frankie Dymon, Danny Daniels, Françoise Pascal, Joanna David, Glenna Foster-Jones, Marianne Faithfull, James Fox, Anita Pallenberg
Genre: Documentary, Weirdo, MusicBuy from Amazon
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: The year is 1968 and The Rolling Stones are putting together the centrepiece track of their latest album, but it is turning out to be a trickier process than they anticipated. The song is Sympathy for the Devil, which details various aspects of history up to the present day and Satan's take on them, positioning himself as the architect of chaos and revolution. As we watch the band try out variations on the song, from lyrics to tempo to arrangement, the spirit of the times is pressing upon them: outside the studio, Eve Democracy (Anne Wiazemsky) spray paints slogans onto every available surface and black power advocates read their political litertature and plan the overthrow of the white establishment...

Jean-Luc Godard was your man behind the camera, in London to make seemingly anything that caught his fancy into a movie, and one of those things was The Stones who had been courted to appear on the big screen ever since they had made it in the music industry, for the usual template as set out by the Beatles, and indeed the Beatles' musical predecessors, was that they would star in a film vehicle specially tailored to them. But not for Mick Jagger and company the irreverence of A Hard Day's Night, they were more keen on working with a more serious director than Richard Lester, so when Godard approached them they allowed him to capture their rehearsal and recording process for what they felt was one of their strongest songs.

They would regret that, as Godard seemed just as interested in examining political polemic as he was in music, maybe even more so, therefore the sequences of the band, all shot in long, unbroken takes with a blandly roving camera, were intercut with those black activists, Godard's wife Wiazemsky vandalising bits of the British capital, and other such hard to read examples of message making that the film looked to be adopting a satirical view upon. You could contrast the band getting together to work in harmony with the discord of the society in '68, that year of revolution and upheaval, as depicted in the staged sequences of his actors making plans for smashing the system, whatever that may have been.

Along with that, the actor Sean Lynch was heard as narrator, but he was merely reading out text from a pulp spy paperback, including sex and violence (and possibly the first instance of the C-word ever heard on film), which again, appeared to be an ironic take on the readings from political books that we were served up as various other things went on, such as Wiazemsky giving the world's worst interview (she just answers "yes" or "no") in a forest, or the producer Iain Quarrier (a mover and shaker of the late sixties whose life took a long, depressing deterioration after the Manson murders shattered him) in a pulp bookshop spouting Adolf Hitler's words from Mein Kampf. Godard certainly seemed to be amusing himself, but was he amusing anyone else? It is a work that has infuriated the less radical Stones fan down the years.

Which was pretty much all of them, though it was interesting to watch the title song's evolution, and sad to see that Brian Jones by this time was barely contributing (he was heavily into drug use by this point). That said, all Bill Wyman seems to be doing is playing a little percussion, so it's very possible we were not getting the whole story from simply observing the group without any contextualising interviews. Every so often a celebrity would appear, such as James Fox (in the process of filming Performance with Jagger), or girlfriends Marianne Faithfull and Anita Pallenberg who offered up the "Woo, woo!" backing vocals, while seasoned film buffs might have recognised Françoise Pascal among the white girls who get mixed up with the black activists, though the outright statement that they were there to be murdered by the black man, although not before they were subject to their sexual attentions first, was not exactly a helpful stance to take, and suggested the radicals were closer to the conservative reactionaries than they would admit, which may have been the point. As it was, these days you imagine for a music documentary this was one of the most fast-forwarded examples ever made.

Aka: One Plus One (in the original Godard cut)
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 1884 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
   

 

Last Updated: