Gimme Shelter started out ostensibly as a rock and roll concert film but ultimately became a grotesque, intellectual exploration of one of pop music's great tragedies: the 1969 Rolling Stones concert at the Altamont Speedway in California, where one person drowned, another was stabbed by a Hells Angels security guard and 850 came away with injuries. (So if you've hired the Hells Angels to monitor Little Timmy's eighth-birthday extravaganza, possibly reconsider. Unless you've got ponies. Hells Angels love ponies.) The film's footage is remarkable, whether it's the jingly-jangly rocking and rolling of Mick Jagger in some of his most exhilarating performances ever caught on tape, or the tragic, shadowy view of a young man brought down by a knife. The Rolling Stones themselves partially paid for the picture, and they were maligned by contemporary reviewers for helping fund a film that they said played like a get-out-of-jail-free card, absolving the band of responsibility for that night's terrible events. The film remains controversial to this day, and it's a must-see at any hour but especially at the witching hour. Gimme Shelter’s showing at midnight this Friday and Saturday at the Inwood Theatre, 5458 W. Lovers Lane. Tickets are $9.25, $6.50 for seniors. Call 214-352-5085.
Feb. 22-23, 2008