The following is a guest post by Jenny Paxson, an Administrative Assistant at the Packard Campus.
Thursday, November 19 (7:30 p.m.)
Gimme Shelter (Cinema 5 Distributing, 1970 – R-rated *)
This astounding documentary follows the Rolling Stones on the last ten days of their 1969 North American tour which ended with a disastrous day-long free concert in northern California. Filmmakers Albert and David Maysles (whose 1976 documentary Grey Gardens is on the National Film Registry), along with Charlotte Zwerin, began shooting at Madison Square Garden on Thanksgiving weekend. The anticipated concert tour documentary soon turned into something more complicated and disturbing when a camera caught the stabbing of a concert-goer by one of a group of Hells Angels, who were acting as security guards. Film essayist Amy Taubin calls Gimme Shelter a “masterpiece of restraint and understatement.” *No one under the age of 17 will be admitted without a parent or guardian.
Friday, November 20 (7:30 p.m.)
Soul! (WNET/PBS, 1967-1971)
A pioneering variety television show showcasing African-American music, dance and literature, Soul! was produced by New York City PBS affiliate, WNET. Performances selected for this program were drawn from fourteen different episodes of Soul! and many have not been seen since their original broadcast. They include: Stevie Wonder, Earth, Wind, & Fire, Bill Withers, Al Green, McCoy Tyner and Gladys Knight and the Pips. Dr. Gayle Wald, author of It’s Been Beautiful: Soul! and Black Power Television (Duke University Press, 2015), will introduce the program.
Saturday, November 21 (7:30 p.m.)
Let it Be (United Artists, 1970)
In this rarely seen documentary, the Beatles are shown rehearsing songs for their album Let it Be at Twickenham Film Studios, followed by an unannounced concert on the rooftop of their Apple headquarters in London. Joined by Billy Preston, they perform “Get Back,” “Don’t Let Me Down,” “I’ve Got a Feeling,” “One After 909,” and “Dig a Pony,” intercut with reactions and comments from surprised Londoners gathering on the streets below. It would be the last time the Beatles ever performed together in public. Although the film does not dwell on the discord within the group at the time, it provides some glimpses into the dynamics that would lead to the Beatles’ break-up. John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr collectively won an Academy Award for Best Original Song Score for the film. The film has not been officially available since the 1980s.
For more information on our programs, please visit the website at: www.loc.gov/avconservation/theater/.