Thursday, December 11, 2003


Those are the first words you see as Martin Scorsese's The Last Waltz unfolds. This mixes informal conversations and footage from The Band's last concert. The guest list of performers is a delectable whos-who including personal favourites Eric Clapton and Muddy Waters along with Bob Dylan (who brings a coda to the concert), Neils Young and Diamond, Paul Butterfield, Joni Mitchell, Garth Hudson, the beautiful Emmylou Harris, and Ringo Starr (who stomps the drum during the ensemble closing). Watch a young bearded Scorsese trying to get the members to talk about being the group they were. The songs are the undeniable masterpiece, but the film endears, even for someone like me, who hasn't heard much of their music. Special mention for Lawrence Ferlinghetti, who read out an outrageous irreverent reworking of the Lord's Prayer (called Loud Prayer).

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