Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Born in a cross fire hurricane, died in a fire

I just finished watching the 2008 concert film/documentary "Shine a Light" about The Rolling Stones and directed by Martin Scorsese. I am not a huge Stones fan and only have a few of their songs, but I absolutely love Scorsese and all the previews of the movie looked interesting. In addition to all of the beautifully shot and performed songs, there was also some interesting behind-the-scenes footage and some even more interesting old interview clips of the band.

But of course, since this is me and I am anything but normal, I think what I will remember most about the movie is the following exchange between Scorsese and some set designer or assistant.

Assistant:  If Mick stands in front of the light for more than 18 seconds, he'll burn.
Scorsese:  What do you mean "burn"?
Assistant:  He'll burn up. He'll get too hot.
Scorsese:  You mean, like flames?
Assistant:  He might catch on fire.
Scorsese:  We can't do that. We cannot burn Mick Jagger. Very simple.

Scorsese didn't seem alarmed, he wasn't smirking, and there was no devilish twinkle in his eye. It was just said very simply with the perfect amount of incredulity. Incredulous that he even had to clarify that Jagger could not be set aflame. And yet also incredulous that he couldn't use the light he wanted to make the film exactly as he wanted.

Perhaps some deeper meaning is buried in this exchange, some play on the title, "shine a light." But I'm tired. And I really do think Scorsese just didn't see setting fire to a rock and roll legend as conducive to his art.

Pure genius, that man.

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