do not realize the swath of Hurricane/Tropical Storm Sandy was so wide,
encompassing most of the Tri-State Area and a good chunk of New England, it
made flight impractical. Where were you
going to go? Ohio? As a result, most New
Yorkers sat tight and made the best of things.
Many were wiped out and the rebuilding continues to this day. The Robin Hood Foundation was one of many
non-profits that rushed to assist those in need. To support their efforts, Cablevision-Madison
Square Garden boss James Dolan, Clear Channel’s John Sykes, and the always
quotable Harvey Weinstein organized a benefit concert at the Garden, featuring
some of the biggest (and as many can’t help observing, oldest) acts in rock &
roll. Amir Bar-Lev, with
co-director-co-producer Charlie Lightening, documents both the on-stage
attractions and the backstage bedlam in 12-12-12
opens this Friday in New York.
to be confused with the little seen horror film with the same title, 12-12-12 starts a few days before
December 12, 2012, as the power trio scramble to nail down the concert
details. Once again, Sir Paul McCartney
is the concert’s lynch pin, as he was for the Concert for New York six weeks
after the terrorist attacks of September 11th. Once the elder statesman Beatle signed on,
some of rock’s biggest names followed, including The Who, the Rolling Stones, Bruce
Springsteen, the divisive Roger Waters with Pink Floyd, and Billy Joel, an
alumnus of the 2001 benefit, who also featured McCartney as a special guest at his
send-off concert for the fondly remembered Shea Stadium.
12-12-12 mostly features songs
that roughly sort of fit the evening’s themes, like “Living on a Prayer” and “Miami
2017” (the one that goes “I’ve seen the lights go out on Broadway”), but
sometimes it just makes do with greatest hits.
As a follow-up to Bar-Lev’s fantastic music doc Re:Generation Music Project, 12-12-12
is a considerably more commercial, but ironically less interesting subject. Essentially, it is a clips package, but
Bar-Lev still has a shrewd eye behind-the-scenes action. When the concert’s website goes Sebelius on
them, it is rather amusing listening to Weinstein and Dolan try to bullying
poor tech support folks into fixing it.
Likewise, it is rather telling to see Jesse Jackson glad-handing any
celebrity who will talk to him.
Shockingly, Charlie Watts now looks like the
youngest member of the Stones—and he still lays down a solid beat, God bless
him. $50 million was raised for Sandy
relief, which definitely helped a lot of people. Overall, it is a nice film, if not
particularly deep, with only an occasional snippet of global warming
soap-boxing here and there. The Robin
Hood Foundation is still accepting donations for Sandy Aid, but frankly, this
is the time for New Yorkers to come together to support the typhoon survivors
in the Philippines, a nation we have a long, close history with that has an
accomplished film industry and a better jazz scene than you would expect. You can donate to the Red Cross relief
efforts here. Recommended for mainstream
rock fans, 12-12-12 opens this Friday
in New York at the Angelika Film Center.
Labels: Billy Joel, Concert films, Paul McCartney