The Rolling Stones: 50 Years on Film
November 15–December 2, 2012
Celebrating the 50th anniversary of The Rolling Stones, this retrospective traces the film careers of Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts, and Ronnie Wood, as well as former band members Brian Jones, Mick Taylor, and Bill Wyman, both collectively and individually as composers, performers, producers, and actors. Featuring such rarities as Peter Whitehead’s The Rolling Stones Charlie Is My Darling—Ireland 1965 (1965/2012)—which makes its debut after an absence of more than 45 years with added, never-before-seen footage directed and restored by Mick Gochanour and producer Robin Klein—and Robert Frank’s Cocksucker Blues (1972), the exhibition chronicles the band from the mid-1960s until today through documentaries, fiction features, concert films, music videos, experimental shorts, and archival footage.
The Rolling Stones have worked with some of the most original and iconoclastic directors of their generation. Even with the passing years, their collaborations with Jean-Luc Godard, Kenneth Anger, Albert and David Maysles, Charlotte Zwerin, Martin Scorsese, and Hal Ashby have lost none of their raw, atavistic energy or thrilling sense of artistic experimentation.
This retrospective also includes the Stones’ landmark concert appearances in The T.A.M.I. Show (1964), The Stones in the Park (1969), Ladies & Gentlemen: The Rolling Stones (1974), The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus (1968/1996), Let’s Spend the Night Together (1983), and Shine a Light (2008); as well as the Tom Stoppard-scripted wartime spy thriller Enigma (2001), directed by Michael Apted and produced by Mick Jagger; and music videos directed by David Fincher, Michel Gondry, Michael Lindsay-Hogg, Julien Temple, Peter Whitehead, and others.
The influence of The Rolling Stones on music, cinema, art, and even politics over the past half century cannot be overestimated. As Scorsese has observed, “In my formative years, before I made Mean Streets even, the Rolling Stones created a well of inspiration that became a part of my consciousness. Their music shapes the images I see when I’m planning a movie—camera movements, lighting, tone, attitude.”
Organized by Joshua Siegel, Associate Curator, Department of Film, The Museum of Modern Art.
The exhibition is made possible by The Martini Family Foundation.