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The Rolling Stones Charlie is my Darling - Ireland 1965(1965)
No synopsis for The Rolling Stones Charlie is my Darling - Ireland 1965.
For more about The Rolling Stones Charlie is my Darling - Ireland 1965 and the The Rolling Stones Charlie is my Darling - Ireland 1965 Blu-ray release, see the The Rolling Stones Charlie is my Darling - Ireland 1965 Blu-ray Review published by Jeffrey Kauffman on November 19, 2012 where this Blu-ray release scored 4.0 out of 5.
Starring: Mick Jagger, Charlie Watts, Brian Jones, Keith Richards
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The Rolling Stones Charlie is my Darling - Ireland 1965 Blu-ray Review
A Hard Two Days' Nights.
Reviewed by Jeffrey Kauffman, November 19, 2012
The Rolling Stones spent at least the first part of their career laboring under the rather imposing shadow of The Beatles, and a certain segment of the musical cognoscenti still relegates to Stones to "also ran" status behind the Fab Four, despite the fact that the Stones managed to outlast The Beatles by several decades and has had more or less the same level of success. The Stones did take a while to capture their first international Number One single, when "I Can't Get No Satisfaction" finally topped the charts in 1965 some three years after the group's founding, and there's no denying the fact that at the time, The Beatles had somehow captured a global fancy in a way that the Stones didn't quite manage to do, despite being incredibly popular in their own right. The Beatles burst upon the movie going public about as forcefully as they had the music world when they released the ground breaking and incredibly popular A Hard Day's Night in 1964, and one might have assumed that the Stones would have been a bankable commodity to do the same, and yet the Stones never ended up making anything other than concert films during this period (though of course Mick Jagger went on to some notable starring roles in straight films). Charlie Is My Darling might have been the Stones' entrée into major cinematic success, even if it has little of the Richard Lester inspired madness of The Beatles' first feature film. This is an often fascinating documentary that captures The Stones at the moment that lightning had just struck, when "I Can't Get No Satisfaction" had been a global phenomenon and the band undertook a brief tour to Ireland. This souvenir of a bygone age, before The Stones had become The Stones is a sweet, unvarnished look at four young men who honestly weren't sure what tomorrow might hold and how long their newfound pop superstardom would last. Ironically, they seem only too aware of The Beatles' overwhelming success, as you'll hear them mentioned more than once and even hear a couple of Lennon and McCartney tunes being hummed by some unlikely suspects along the way.
It's almost shocking to realize that The Rolling Stones as a unit are celebrating their 50th anniversary, one reason this long delayed and almost legendary early documentary is finally being released to the public, after an extensive frame by frame 2K restoration that also saw previously unseen footage being reintegrated into the proceedings. Perhaps just as shocking is the sight of The Rolling Stones at such a young age, probably none more so than Keith Richards, who looks positively normal and nothing like his "Captain Jack Sparrow" later years. There's also a certain poignancy in seeing Brian Jones, especially as he seems rather fragile and perhaps only too aware of his own mortality. There's also a shocking quasi-riot caught on film here that is eerily prescient if not as violent as what would transpire at Altamont four years later.
Those of us who grew up with somewhat later iterations of The Stones may find it hard to reconcile the swaggering, overly cocky aggregation of the seventies and eighties with these very young and quite naïvely innocent young men. The riot itself seems to provoke absolute shock in all of them, with Jagger stammering that the same thing greeted The Beatles when they played Germany, as if somehow that made it all more palatable. (Jagger's subtext seems to be that The Stones were already carving out their identity as the anti-Beatles, but that this kind of mishap was de rigeur for all rock stars, no matter what their stripes.)
The film ping pongs back and forth between relatively short concert snippets and longer, actually better and more informative confessionals, as well as lots of backstage footage that plays to accompanying Stones' music. A number of passers-by are asked what they think of The Stones, and the reactions are surprisingly disparate, including everything from young teenybopper acclaim to older, less sanguine, opinions. The Stones' very young manager at the time, Andrew Long Oldham, is quoted on the Blu-ray keepcase insert as saying, "'Charlie Is My Darling' was to be a sort of trial run, get-your-celluloid legs together for any forthcoming feature film and and effort on my part to keep the Stones interested in the idea of film. It would be titled 'Charlie Is My Darling' based on the fact that he was. . ." (The Charlie of the title is of course Charlie Watts.)
While Oldham's plans for a feature film never quite materialized, there's no denying the influence of A Hard Day's Night on at least parts of Charlie Is My Darling. We see The Stones running from screaming fans, and one especially redolent sequence has scenes from the tour train passing by in accelerated motion as a string quartet plays. But there's little of The Beatles' (or Richard Lester's) cheeky humor on display here, and instead this is a really rather remarkably ruminative piece that finds the boys kind of wondering what the heck they've gotten themselves into.
There's an amazing little moment with Jagger where he talks about what his generation is going through, basically being handed the world on a silver platter after their parents' hardships. But he then goes on to state that his generation won't really understand what they've been given until they're 75 and grandparents. Maybe today's Mick Jagger can look back on the fresh faced youngster of Charlie Is My Darling and realize that no truer words were ever spoken.
The Rolling Stones Charlie is my Darling - Ireland 1965 Blu-ray, Video Quality
The Rolling Stones: Charlie Is My Darling—Ireland 1965 is presented on Blu-ray courtesy of ABCKO with an AVC encoded 1080p transfer in 1.33:1. The original elements for this documentary were evidently in pretty rotten condition, including a 16mm work print that had been so poorly curated that is kept breaking at edit points during the extensive restoration process this transfer underwent. Therefore, certain expectations need to be tailored to the actual realities here, most of which have to do with what exactly a smaller millimeter format is going to look like even under the best circumstances. Add to that the fact that this was often shot on the fly, with camera operators pulling focus as they went, and you have some idea of the "by the seat of their pants" ambience that much of this documentary reveals. That said, the extensive frame by frame restoration and 2K scan that Charlie Is My Darling has undergone has resulted in some nicely upgraded image quality. Contrast is incredibly more robust than in any other previous (unofficial) releases I've seen. Numerous scratches and other blemishes (including some photochemical scarring) have been largely eliminated. That said, there are still some sequences here that are quite fuzzy and grainy, especially the audience shots which don't appear to have undergone much digital tweaking. Despite the cleanup there doesn't appear to have been any egregious use of DNR.
The Rolling Stones Charlie is my Darling - Ireland 1965 Blu-ray, Audio Quality
The Rolling Stones: Charlie Is My Darling—Ireland 1965 features both a lossless DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround mix as well as a DTS- HD Master Audio 2.0 mix. Both of these suffice quite elegantly for this documentary, which only occasionally bursts into song (and in the case of Jagger, dance). The 5.1 mix does significantly open up these musical elements, and we finally get an uninterrupted piece like a late in the documentary rendition of "I Can't Get No Satisfaction", the 5.1 mix really shines with ferocity and precision. But overall this is more of a verité quasi-talking heads feature, and in that regard either the 5.1 mix or the 2.0 mix work more less interchangeably well. Fidelity is excellent and dynamic range is very wide.
The Rolling Stones Charlie is my Darling - Ireland 1965 Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
The Rolling Stones Charlie is my Darling - Ireland 1965 Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
This little slice of life piece of verité is a fascinating look at The Rolling Stones before fame and fortune had reshaped them into willing or unwilling parodies of themselves. What comes off here is some really remarkably introspective and frankly intelligent ruminations by the boys, interspersed with some great (if way too brief) concert footage and just kind of goofy backstage sequences that show them at their unvarnished best. This long sought after title has been meticulously restored and comes with some appealing bonus content. Highly recommended.
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