Evening Standard, Hulton Archive LONDON (AP) - Miles and Jimi. Jimi and Miles.…
- Posted on Sep 9th 2011 12:30PM by Sarah Kurchak
AP Photo, Beth A. Keiser
Following Paul McCartney's travels and preparations for 'The Concert for New York City' in October of 2001, Love is as understated as its predominantly grainy black and white footage (only televised interviews and performances are in colour). It's not so much a documentary about a superstar descending upon a beleaguered city to put together an amazing benefit concert as it is a story about a human being who has been deeply affected by the tragedy and who is doing what he can to help as he struggles to cope with it all.
This casual and intimate perspective is particularly effective in the second half of the film, when director Albert Maysles and his camera hang out with McCartney and various visitors backstage at the big show. Some of the vignettes that he captures are amusing. At one point, a member of Macca's band attempts to explain Jay-Z's J Hova "character" to him. Stella McCartney is forced to nervously confess her Bon Jovi fandom to her dad before slipping away to watch them play. Bill Clinton jokes around with James Taylor and the former Beatle about the staying power of their generation.
These moments of levity are always grounded in subtle, sadder details, though. Stars discuss where they were and what they were thinking when they found out about the attacks and what they'll mean for the United States. Clinton's jokes quickly turn to more pointed conversation. Steve Buscemi, a former New York City firefighter, just silently sits in the green room with McCartney, watching the concert on TV with the most heartbreaking, haunted stare.
Together, all of these scenes encapsulate an unassuming but powerful look at so much of the fear, pain, confusion, anger, delicate hope and love that surrounded 9/11. 'The Love We Make' isn't the definitive documentary about the tragedy, but it just might be the one we show to future generations to help explain how it felt.