A long-forgotten reel of grainy home-movie footage taken at a 1965 party in Malmö, Sweden is the relic to which Rolling Like a Stone owes its existence. Like a leftover scrapbook memory from the heyday of the British Invasion, it features the young Rolling Stones on tour with fellow musicians, friends, and groupies, all immortalized through film at that moment in their lives before continuing on their individual paths of existence. Were it not for its celebrity factor, this seemingly uneventful clip would likely strike many as nothing more than a bit of disposable celluloid, yet the immense joy of Rolling Like a Stone is the ease with which the filmmakers evoke the spectrum of feelings and memories contained within—or rather, evoked through—it. Tracked down so they might catch the viewer up on their lives in the 40 years since that recorded encounter, the individuals featured in the film—save for the Stones themselves—reflect upon not only the paths they’ve taken since that moment in time, but on the distressingly tenuous role even the most minute choices play in determining the outcome of those courses. In a subtly profound moment, Mona Ovendal, a former love interest of the late Brian Jones, gazes lovingly at her husband even as her eyes speak to a question she cannot help but ask: would Brian still be alive today if she’d stayed with him all those years ago? Moments such as these are made all the more potent by the filmmakers’ wise decision to keep intact only the most necessary of talking-head scenes, with most of Rolling Like a Stone edited not unlike a fine silk tapestry of audio interviews, stock footage, and historic montage, woven together in ways that truly tingle the subconscious, as if these individuals are providing the commentary on the Tarnation-style DVD of their own lives. This is a film acutely aware of its own power over life, affirming the fact that even the most seemingly trivial piece of celluloid is, quite possibly, the stuff dreams are made of.
- 65 min
- Stefan Berg, Magnus Gertten
- Tommy Hansson, Kerstin Malmström-Bengtsson, Mona Ovendal, Ola Ström
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