Film Review – 12-12-12
Directed by – Amir Bar-Lev
Billed as the ultimate backstage pass this wonderful documentary captures the performances and behind the scenes action in the days leading up to the benefit concert held in New York on the 12th December 2012 to raise money for the victims of Hurricane Sandy that killed over 275 people as it lashed the United States, the Caribbean, and Canada.
In a nutshell, this concert builds on the legacy brought about by the Concert for Bangladesh at Madison Square Garden in 1971. Organised by ex-Beatle George Harrison featuring a selection of his musical “friends” including Eric Clapton and Bob Dylan,(ironically Paul McCartney declined to take part, citing bad feelings caused by the Beatles’ legal problems on their break-up the previous year,) that event paved the way for the likes of Live Aid in 1985 and the may that have followed since.
12-12-12 is a joyous film that showcases one performance from an excellent cross section of the big names on hand including Roger Waters, Eric Clapton,The Rolling Stones, The Who and Paul McCartney. causing Mick Jagger to remark the concert was “the largest collection of old English musicians ever assembled at Madison Square Garden.”
From Billy Joel to Bon Jovi, Chris Martin and Michael Stipe, Alicia Keys and Bruce Springsteen, the film is packed with remarkable performances as well as good dose of drama.
If you ever wondered how much Google rules the world then you should see this film.
The presenters introducing the musical acts are in great form , with Chris Rock introducing “the very humble Kanye West”, and Jimmy Fallon gushing that “every single person here is on my iPod”.
It is indeed a backstage pass like few others, including snippets like Paul McCartney getting a manicure in his dressing room , and the chemistry between Chris Martin and Michael Stipe in their rehearsal.
Behind the music there is a truly great narrative about how New Yorkers see their city ( as many others do) as the capital of the world, a subtle reference to climate change and the resolution of the human spirit in the face of inexplicable events.
Roger Waters of Pink Floyd performing Comfortably Numb with Eddie Vedder is a highlight, but perhaps my favourite part was this piece from Adam Sandler below. I’ve never been a fan of his, but Sandler’s unique skill set is showcased beautifully in his hilarious and deeply moving tribute to the New Yorkers who lost their homes and lives as a result of the storm.
See it in limited release on the 1st and 4th May across Australia.