5 June 2018
while the concept of a concert film is simple, dating back to 1948’s concert magic featuring violinist yehudi menuhin, a great concert film requires inspiration from both director and performer, a collaboration that unifies the best qualities of filmmaking and music. like every cinematic genre, concert filmmaking has its greats: jonathan demme, d.a. pennebaker, martin scorsese—all of whom are represented in this list of the best concert films, alongside bands who kept control of the filmmaking process themselves.
live music is a give-and-take between musician and audience, and that can be a difficult thing to capture on film. the 20 films that follow manage to allow viewers feel like they’re part of the moment and communicate what we love about some of our favorite live performers, including several who are no longer with us. these films preserve their greatness for future generations.
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