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Stones In Exile


Stephen Kijak

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Plot Summary

In the spring of 1971 the Rolling Stones reluctantly departed the UK to take up residence in France. Keith Richards settled at a villa called Nellcôte in Villefranche-sur-Mer and this became the venue for the recording of much of the band's masterpiece "Exile On Main Street". "Stones In Exile" tells the story in the band's own words and through extensive archive footage of their time away from England and the creation of this extraordinary double album, which many regard as the Rolling Stones' finest achievement.


Customer Reviews

Not what you think..

This movie should not be called a movie but a long commercial for a movie. None point of the movie is there actual footage with anyone talking. It is mostly still photos with voice over. Almost as if the director never got permission from the artisits to use actual video. This movie is a scam to temp you into thinking it is something it is not.

Ventilator Blues

This was rock-and-roll and where it happened. The evocative archival footage and voice-over interviews capture a moment when high-caliber music was still being made absolutely fresh and thrived on chaos, intoxicants, and some adversity. The Rolling Stones were forced out of Britain in the early 1970's because their wealth had proven to be phantom (too many others had a claim on it), and their tax exposure was huge. By uprooting to France, they avoided the liability. But ensemble-based rock was still young and grounded in the particular scenes where it developed, and although living in villas around the Riviera, with servants, would not seem like a torment, the members of the band did feel genuine dislocation. Although some of the attestations about this from the band members and their intimates sound like the utterances of people who have given interviews beyond number, the filmmakers do seem to arrive at the truth: the newly improvisatory nature of the band's lives, work habits, and, especially, recording methods -- they gave up trying to find a local studio and just settled into the cellar of Keith Richards's rented mansion in Villefranche-sur-Mer -- turned a world-famous touring outfit back into, almost literally, a garage band, and the gritty, astonishingly durable "Exile on Main St." double-album arose from the turmoil. Valuable to the film is the worldly Anita Pallenberg, Keith's partner in that era, who seems to have done much to reorient the Rolling Stones toward the larger bohemian art world and away from the pop-music industry. Bianca Jagger, whose wedding to Mick Jagger took place at the time, is as marginal here as Pallenberg is central, and so the Jet Set side of the story is untold (perhaps mercifully), as is, after the portrayal of going into tax exile, how the band eventually solved its money and residency problems. The look and feel of the film owes much to the collaged, hand-scribbled aesthetic of the "Exile on Main St." album art and to the uncanny photos Robert Frank took of the band at the time (in one of the film's illuminating asides we see this great artist intentionally playing paparazzo to get what he wants), and the filmmakers do honor to both.


A very slick movie. Flows nicely, and it's always good to see a Stones film that doesn't end with a murder at a concert! ;-)

Stones In Exile
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  • $9.99
  • Genre: Music Documentaries
  • Released: 2010

Customer Ratings