November 15, 2009

Get out of my head! The Last Waltz and Food

Those of you who know me will know how ridiculously, utterly amazing it was to cruise over to the New York Times site today and see Pete Wells' article discussing Martin Scorsese's The Last Waltz as a food movie.

For those of you poor souls who aren't familiar with The Last Waltz, it's the best rock movie ever, and it documents The Band's farewell concert, with an amazing array of guests (Dylan, Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, Muddy Waters, Van Morrison, Clapton...the list goes on). See it now. I'll wait. Go on! Go watch it. I'll be here when you're done.

As an English major, I wrote my senior thesis on The Last Waltz. The movie changed my life, and I would like to throw down a challenge to Pete Wells, who thinks that he knows The Last Waltz better than anyone. Better, even, than Scorsese himself. False. It is I. As a music lover, I ended up watching it at least 20 times as I introduced everyone I truly care about to The Last Waltz. As a student, I scoured that movie too many times to count, hunting for evidence to support my argument that The Last Waltz was The Band's visual reinforcement of the romantic Southern American image they'd been cultivating throughout their entire career (The Band was four fifths Canadian). I got an A-, by the way.

On to The Last Waltz as a food movie--what's cool about the whole magical night of The Last Waltz is that every concertgoer got to eat a full Thanksgiving dinner and watch professional dancers waltzing (clever, eh?) before the music ever even started. And I agree with Wells that the homey quality of Thanksgiving dinner is woven throughout the movie.

I've been trying to figure out a way to legitimize writing about The Last Waltz on my blog for about a gazillion years (or for about six months, which is how long I've been writing this blog). And here comes Pete Wells, handing my chance to me on a silver platter. Genius.

One last thing: Robbie Robertson is a god. Always has been, always will be. Wells' only failing is that he produced a son who doesn't like Robbie. That is all.

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