Peter Whitehead's never-released 1965 film renders a sharply focused black-and-white snapshot of the Rolling Stones rapidly approaching superstardom after the release of "Satisfaction."
Painstakingly remastered and reassembled by Mick Gochanour and Robin Klein, “Charlie Is My Darling,” Peter Whitehead’s never-released 1965 film of the Rolling Stones’ two day Irish tour, offers few revelations about the oft-filmed band. But it does render a sharply focused black-and-white snapshot of the youngsters rapidly approaching superstardom after the release of “Satisfaction”; the kinetically shot concert footage captures the volatile dynamic between performers and audience, as Mick Jagger’s provocative posturing is followed by fans storming the stage. Pic will play briefly at Gotham’s IFC Center before its November broadcast.
As Whitehead questions passersby and profiles band members, the docu establishes that the band’s creative central core never changed: Keith Richards, whether strumming a guitar or tickling the ivories, virtually speaks music, with Jagger always primed to join in. Meanwhile, Brian Jones and Charlie Watts tag along for the ride as Bill Wyman earnestly strives for serious musicianship. “Sitting on the Fence” casually takes shape as Richards and Jagger bat musical phrases back and forth. Even drunk, they clown around melodically, launching into improv imitations of Elvis or Fats Domino.