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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "Rolling Stones: Gimme Shelter" )

 

directed by Albert Maysles, David Maysles, Charlotte Zwerin
USA 1970

Called the greatest rock film ever made, this landmark documentary follows the Rolling Stones on their notorious 1969 U.S. tour. When three hundred thousand members of the Love Generation collided with a few dozen Hells Angels at San Francisco’s Altamont Speedway, Direct Cinema pioneers David and Albert Maysles and Charlotte Zwerin were there to immortalize on film the bloody slash that transformed a decade’s dreams into disillusionment.

 

Posters

 

Theatrical Release: December 6, 1970

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Comparison:

Criterion - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

DVD Box Cover

Distribution

Criterion - Spine # 99

Region 1 - NTSC

Criterion - Spine # 99

Region 'A' - Blu-ray

Runtime 1:31:33 1:31:44.874
Video

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 7.56 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 36,952,558,557 bytes

Feature: 29,860,915,200 bytes

Video Bitrate: 34.98 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate

Bitrate

Blu-ray

Audio Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo, Dolby Digital 5.1, DTS 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio English 3804 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3804 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1990 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1990 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Commentary: Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps
Subtitles English, none English, none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Criterion

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:

• Breathtaking new high-definition transfer of the uncensored 30th Anniversary version, remastered and restored from the camera original
• Exclusive Dolby Digital and DTS 5.1 surround sound mixes
• Never-before-seen performances of the Rolling Stones at Madison Square Garden in 1969, including “Little Queenie," “Oh Carol," and “Prodigal Son," plus backstage outtakes
• Audio commentary by directors Albert Maysles and Charlotte Zwerin, and collaborator Stanley Goldstein
• Excerpts from KSAN Radio’s Altamont wrap-up, recorded December 7, 1969, with new introductions by then-DJ, Stefan Ponek
• Altamont stills gallery, featuring the work of renowned photographers Bill Owens and Beth Sunflower
• “The Rolling Stones, Altamont, and GIMME SHELTER”: A 44-page booklet with essays by Jagger’s former assistant Georgia Bergman, music writers Michael Lydon and Stanley Booth, ex-Oakland Hell’s Angels chapter head Sonny Barger, and film critics Amy Taubin and Godfrey Cheshire
• Original and re-release theatrical trailers, plus trailers for Maysles Films' classics Grey Gardens and Salesman
• Filmographies for Maysles Films and Charlotte Zwerin

DVD Release Date: November 14, 2000
Keep Case

Chapters 27

Release Information:
Studio: Criterion

 

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 36,952,558,557 bytes

Feature: 29,860,915,200 bytes

Video Bitrate: 34.98 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Edition Details:

• New high-definition digital transfer of the uncensored thirtieth-anniversary version (DTS-HD Master Audio surround and stereo mixes on the Blu-ray)
• Audio commentary featuring directors Albert Maysles and Charlotte Zwerin and collaborator Stanley Goldstein
• Performances by the Rolling Stones at Madison Square Garden in 1969, including “Oh Carol” and “Prodigal Son," plus backstage outtakes and footage of the band mixing “Little Queenie"
• Audio excerpts from KSAN Radio’s Altamont wrap-up, recorded December 7, 1969, with introductions by then DJ Stefan Ponek
• Altamont stills gallery, featuring the work of renowned photographers Bill Owens and Beth Sunflower
• Original and rerelease theatrical trailers
• 38-page liner notes booklet featuring essays by film critic Amy Taubin, music writer Stanley Booth, Jagger’s former assistant Georgia Bergman, music writer Michael Lydon, and film critic Godfrey Cheshire (NOTE: Barger’s piece does not appear on the Blu-ray edition)

• Timeline Feature

Blu-ray Release Date: December 1st, 2009
Standard Blu-ray Case

Chapters 27

 

Comments NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were ripped directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray November 09:  These transfers were taken from the same 16mm elements as the uncensored thirtieth-anniversary source on the DVD version, but are rendered in 1080P. Colors occasionally show some divergence (improved skin tones - redder rather than orange, richer black levels, and tighter overall) and grain appears as thick as a plush shag rug. There is a healthy amount of additional information in the frame on all 4 edges. It looks much unified in motion and has far less artifacts and noise - it's really all 'grain' and has a magnificent textured appearance.

The more notable improvement, for some, may be in the audio which offers the option of a strong DTS-HD Master 5.1 at 3804 kbps, and another lossless DTS-HD Master but in 2.0 channel at 1990 kbps. The 5.1 mix really has some depth and gives a great concert recreation - far more intuitive to the experience than I was anticipating. These tracks are a BIG part of this film presentation as far as I am concerned and probably the most significant reason for double-dipping (akin to our opinion of Jimi Plays Monterey / Shake!).

Extras are mostly duplicated with the features being in HD! including the same interesting audio commentary featuring directors Albert Maysles and Charlotte Zwerin and collaborator Stanley Goldstein. Also still here is the performances by the Rolling Stones at Madison Square Garden in 1969, including “Oh Carol” and “Prodigal Son," plus backstage outtakes and footage of the band mixing “Little Queenie", audio excerpts from KSAN Radio’s Altamont wrap-up, recorded December 7, 1969, with introductions by then DJ Stefan Ponek and the Altamont stills gallery, featuring the work of renowned photographers Bill Owens and Beth Sunflower. Criterion have included another "Timeline" features and the extensive 38-page liner notes booklet featuring essays by film critic Amy Taubin, music writer Stanley Booth, Jagger’s former assistant Georgia Bergman, music writer Michael Lydon, and film critic Godfrey Cheshire although we lose ex-Oakland Hell’s Angels chapter head Sonny Barger's piece (which can probably be found somewhere on the Web).

Gimme Shelter by Albert Maysles, David Maysles and Charlotte Zwerin captures this whole emotional experience so succinctly. It is one of those films that keeps getting better with repetition - and now seeing in in the significantly improved video and vastly superior audio - is a fabulous treat. You don't have to be a Stones fan to appreciate this Blu-ray and we strongly recommend.    

Gary W. Tooze

***

ON THE DVD: This landmark concert film is given the much deserved royal treatment from Criterion.

The film has been remastered from the original 16mm negative and looks incredible given its low budget documentary origins. Colors are impressive as is detail. Contrast is a little flat, but I am confident this is inherent in the original materials. A fair amount of fine film grain is visible which only helps to enhance the experience. Some slight film damage is occasionally visible, but is primarily confined to scenes that include a lot of optical fades and effects. As explained by the demonstration, many of the optical fades were not present in the original negative and therefore later generation prints were used for these portions. Trust me, you'll hardly notice.

Both surround audio tracks sound fantastic. My initial reaction was that the Dolby Digital was much more impressive. After further comparison the DTS is much quieter, but also offers a more subtle and natural aural experience.
As the restoration demonstration shows, this film looks and sounds far better than any previous release. So who am I to argue?

Add to a near perfect presentation some very worthwhile extras and we have an absolute must own from Criterion. (Five out of Five)

(Please note. While scanning for screen caps I noticed that there was significant frame overlapping/ghosting every few frames. Given the care that went into this release and Criterion's stellar reputation, my only conclusion is that this issue must have been unavoidable given the type of film elements used.)

 - Mark Balson

 

 


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Criterion Collection - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


Criterion Collection - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


Criterion Collection - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


Criterion Collection - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


Criterion Collection - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


Criterion Collection - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


 

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DVD Box Cover

Distribution

Criterion - Spine # 99

Region 1 - NTSC

Criterion - Spine # 99

Region 'A' - Blu-ray




 

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