The Rolling Stones Olé Olé Olé!: A Trip Across Latin America – Review.

A 22 year old girl went to an outdoor cinema alone to see The Rolling Stones Olé Olé Olé!: A Trip Across Latin America…

It is very rare that I wish to spend my hard earned $ on going to the cinema. Normally it is a treat from the mother and I take full advantage with extra large nachos and sweets included.

Going out and watching a film is very easy where we live as we have the Astor Theatre literally a five minute walk away. Built in 1938 it is one of the oldest running traditional cinemas in Melbourne. True, it doesn’t show the latest blockbusters straight away but the choice of classic and independent cinema available is great: plus they host popular sagas and movie marathons. For my first trip to the cinema alone, it wasn’t just because it was conveniently up the road, in the dark where nobody could notice me sneak in and out. Nope. I had to get the tram for about 35 minutes and find the Shimmerlands festival in the Melbourne University campus. The Shimmerlands festival is a fantastic idea, spanning over January and February, it brings cinema, music, bars and food vendors all together in both the day and the night. It’s perfect for the enjoying the Australian sunshine so why shouldn’t I be a part of it?

I successfully found my way to the ticket collector 5 minutes before the show was due to start (8.30pm), perfect. “The film will start just as it gets dark”, damn.  Then you’re suddenly in the middle of a great open cinema surrounded by couples and friends on a bright summers evening, wishing the sun would just go down to hide your loneliness. It doesn’t look as though that is going to be any time soon. Facing the screen were rows and rows of green directors chairs, no room to hide. Luckily down each side of the chairs, behind a lovely hedge, were rows of beachside deck chairs. I excitedly asked this cosy couple on the back row if the two next to them were free. “I’ll plonk myself there then”, ‘plonk’ being the nervously chosen verb in this case. The deck chairs were the ideal choice for sinking in and having no attention drawn to me.

It would be a great time to inform you that I don’t have any 3G or credit to ring or text, so apart from glancing around the area to see if anyone else came alone – which they hadn’t – Candy Crush and Dumb Ways to Die were my forms of entertainment for the next 35 minutes. By this time the couple next to me had exchanged confused looks and realised that I wasn’t saving the seat between us for anyone but my Nikon D5500 case.

Finally, the selfish sun had set and I could start to enjoy the film that was worth all of this suffering.

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Shimmerlands 2017

The Rolling Stones Olé Olé Olé : A Trip Across Latin America.

This film was nothing short of spectacular. Yes I could have just found a copy online and watched it at home without the fear of being a loner. But as soon as Sympathy For The Devil burst out of the surround sound speakers and the opening shot panned over Latin America, there is no doubt that the vibrant cinematography, crisp sound and the brilliance of The Stones needed to be showcased in this great environment. I was instantly put at ease as if it is just me, Mick, Keith, Ronnie and Charlie journeying across Latin America.

Stunning montages are edited between tour footage, conveying a personal viewpoint, as you are looking through the eyes of The Rolling Stones themselves and into their crazy, beautiful world. I was extremely fortunate to be brought up with The Rolling Stones and have their lyrics engraved in my brain, without realising what an impact they had on the world. My granddad and grandma hitch-hiked from a small village in Lancashire all the way down to Hyde Park in London, and all the way back, to see this great band in the summer of ’69. This is the coolest story I have ever been told and the fact that I got to see my granddad return to Hyde Park in 2013 and watch the band alongside him at the front, with his walking stick and Keith Richards bandana, is a tale I’m sure I’ll tell my grandkids.

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Hyde Park 2013

The film introduces us to the ‘Rolingos’,  an urban tribe who see the Stones as a religion. They follow the band’s cars, sleep outside their hotels and grown men are reduced to tears as they see a glimmer of Mick in the flesh. As the film journeys through the different cities and each show is celebrated, the deep connection between the audience and the band is consistent. Mick Jagger researching different cuisines and learning how to say ‘hamster’ in Spanish is a highlight of him: giving something unique to their experience.

Every perspective is executed seamlessly, as we travel through the slow pace of Latin life and the rock and roll lifestyle of the Stones in a vibrant contrast. We hear from tour managers, individual band members managers, logistic managers and creative directors to gain their opinions on the hurdles they have to overcome in order to push boundaries. It is interesting to see how the band members escape the madness of touring through private expressions, personal rituals and the role they see themselves playing in the band. The dialogue is honest, humorous and humble, which invites you into the memories and emotions of the Stones and South American people.

The film delves into the rebellious time that was the 60s and how this lead to the censorship of rock and roll music. The film portrays this heartbreak and shock with pure silence which, in a film dedicated to music, is both deafening and powerful. Hearing from fans who were locked in prison for listening to songs in the park or for how they looked makes me so appreciative that we have come such a long way, finally. From Samba to Mariachis, the history of each country and what music means to them is fascinating and draws so many unknown parallels to the Stones: unveiling the reasoning for their strong bond. 

In Havana, Cuba, the show we have been counting down to, we finally bring the history and suppression full circle. Fans who have been waiting for 50 years to see the Stones describe this moment as ‘an overdose of freedom’. The shots of this show capture 360 degrees worth of euphoria from backstage with band and crew to out in the crowd with the fans. I could not fault this film at all, not once did it lose my attention. It was definitely worth looking like a loner to see this in all it’s glory.

Have you been to the cinema alone? Did you enjoy it?

Are you a Rolingo?

Leave me a comment, I’d love to hear about your experiences.

One thought on “The Rolling Stones Olé Olé Olé!: A Trip Across Latin America – Review.

  1. I felt I was sat there with you after reading this! Love the story of your grandparents and their experience and love for the Stones. Music gets to the every ones heart and even though you watched this alone it shows your emotions got to you in all ways whilst watching this. Sometimes being alone is hard but glad you pushed yourself to experienced the city and people, imagine how you would have felt missing this 😉 you’ve just to relax and take it all in. Make your life as wonderful as you can, learn as much as you can and enjoy meeting different people and cultures ……. it’s a beautiful world, keep blogging your adventures. Much Love xxxx

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