- Gimme Shelter (documentary)
name = Gimme Shelter
caption = Original film poster
Albert and David Maysles Charlotte Zwerin
producer = Porter Bibb
The Rolling Stones
Albert and David Maysles
distributor = Maysles Films
Cinema 5(USA) 20th Century Fox(UK)
December 6, 1970
runtime = 91 min
language = English
website = http://www.mayslesfilms.com/companypages/films/films/gimmeshelter.htm
amg_id = 1:19778
imdb_id = 0065780
"Gimme Shelter" is a 1970
documentary filmdirected by Albert and David Mayslesand Charlotte Zwerin, chronicling the Rolling Stones' 1969 US tour, which culminated in the disastrous Altamont Free Concert. The film is named after "Gimme Shelter", the lead track from the Rolling Stones' 1969 album " Let It Bleed".
The documentary is associated with the
Direct Cinemamovement of the 50s and 60s. The Maysles Brothers, who directed it, are strong figures of the era. The movement revolves around the philosophy of being a ' reactive' filmmaker. Rather than investigating a subject matter through such documentary techniques as interviews, reconstruction and voiceover, direct cinema simply records events as they unfold naturally and spontaneously - like a ' fly on the wall'.
The film depicts some of the
Madison Square Gardenconcert, later featured on the live album, "Get Yer Ya-Ya's Out!", as well as the photography session for the cover, featuring Charlie Wattsand a donkey. It also shows the Stones at work in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, recording "Wild Horses". Performances documented in the film include Ike and Tina Turner(who were one of the Rolling Stones' opening acts for the 1969 tour), the Flying Burrito Brothers, and Jefferson Airplane.
Much of the film chronicles the behind-the-scenes dealmaking that took place to make the free Altamont concert happen. The action then turns on the concert itself at the
Altamont Speedway, the security for which was provided by the Hells Angels. As the day progressed, with drug-taking and drinking by the Angels and members of the audience, the mood turned ugly. Fights broke out during performances by Jefferson Airplane(at one point lead singer Marty Balinwas knocked out by a Hells Angel) and The Flying Burrito Brothers. The Grateful Deadopted not to play after learning of the incident with Balin. By the time the Stones hit the stage, the crowd was especially restless.
The Stones opened with "
Jumpin' Jack Flash". It was near the end of their set, during " Under My Thumb", that a member of the audience, 18 year old Meredith Hunter, pulled out a revolver in the course of a melee near the stage, and was stabbed to death by a member of the Angels.
Eric Saarinen (grandson of
Eliel Saarinen) was the camera operator who (unknowingly) caught Meredith Hunter's stabbing on film. The film sequence clearly shows the silhouette of a handgun in Hunter's hand as a member of the Hells Angels enters from the right, grabs and raises the gun hand, turning Hunter around and stabbing him at least twice in the back before pushing the victim off camera.
George Lucaswas a camera operator for the Altamont concert. However, his camera jammed after shooting about convert|100|ft|m of film, and none of his footage was incorporated in the final cut.Fact|date=May 2007
The Rolling Stones
Jumpin' Jack Flash"
(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction"
*"You Gotta Move"
*"Wild Horses" (in studio at
Love in Vain"
Honky Tonk Women"
Street Fighting Man"
Sympathy for the Devil"
Under My Thumb"
*"Gimme Shelter" (live version, over closing credits)
Ike and Tina Turner
I've Been Loving You Too Long" (at Madison Square Garden)
*"The Other Side of This Life" (at Altamont)
Flying Burrito Brothers
Six Days on the Road" (at Altamont)
* [http://www.mayslesfilms.com/companypages/films/films/gimmeshelter.htm Official website] at Mayslesfilms.com
* [http://www.salon.com/ent/col/srag/2000/08/10/gimme_shelter/ "Gimme Shelter": The true story"] at Salon.com
* [http://www.criterion.com/asp/release.asp?id=99&eid=109§ion=essay Criterion Collection essay by Ralph "Sonny" Barger]
* [http://www.criterion.com/asp/release.asp?id=99&eid=110§ion=essay Criterion Collection essay by Amy Taubin]
* [http://www.criterion.com/asp/release.asp?id=99&eid=111§ion=essay Criterion Collection essay by Stanley Booth]
* [http://www.criterion.com/asp/release.asp?id=99&eid=112§ion=essay Criterion Collection essay by Georgia Bergman]
* [http://www.criterion.com/asp/release.asp?id=99&eid=113§ion=essay Criterion Collection essay by Michael Lydon]
* [http://www.criterion.com/asp/release.asp?id=99&eid=114§ion=essay Criterion Collection essay by Godfrey Cheshire]
* Dave Saunders, "Direct Cinema: Observational Documentary and the Politics of the Sixties", London, Wallflower Press 2007
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