Saturday, April 20, 2024

The Rolling Stones, Martin Scorsese, Longtime Friends, Release Respective Best Work in Years — And in Their 80s!


On Friday, there are two big entertainment releases.

In movies, we’ll get Martin Scorsese’s “Killers of the Flower Moon.” In music, The Rolling Stones are releasing “Hackney Diamonds,” their first album of original material in 17 years.

Scorsese and all of the Stones are now 80 years old or more. They’ve worked together a lot in the past. Scorsese filmed a documentary with them called “Shine a Light” in 2008. The Stones’ music has been used in many Scorsese films.

Now, by coincidence, they each have new projects launching on Friday. The stars have aligned because both “Killers” and “Hackney” show artists working at the top of their respective games. What are the chances?

The album and the movie should give hope to everyone who’s worked a lifetime in their discipline hoping to see it pay off.

For Scorsese, “Killers” could very well win him and the movie many Oscars, it’s that good, a tour de force. When I saw it in Cannes back in May, it was clear “Killers” would join the ranks of “Mean Streets,” “Goodfellas,” “The Departed,” “Raging Bull,” and so on as one of Scorsese’s classics. Known for mob movies, Scorsese here presents a self-made mob subtly at play as Robert DeNiro’s self-possessed megalomaniac character loses all conscience as he designs a killing spree while proclaiming simultaneous friendship to his victims. It’s chilling.

With the Stones, “Hackney Diamonds” is extraordinary — first because of the time since the last original album. And second, that they were able to recapture the grit and glamour of their earliest work. Two songs are already out, but when fans hear the unbridled youthful sound of pounding rock and blues in an album made by men the ages of their grandparents, they should be in awe (not to mention Paul McCartney, 81, on thundering bass).

It may be the closing of an era is upon us. but what a way to go out!

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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