Stones in Exile (Stephen Kijak, 2010)


What did Stephen Kijak do to merit the title of having ‘directed’ this ‘documentary’? It’s a collage of not-very-good video footage of the band jamming in southern France half of the time, and stills of them doing so for the rest. The lame voiceovers making halfhearted comments about the 1970s and their use of weed doesn’t add much more. I learnt the most about old Labour’s Laffer curve-ignorant tax policy: 93 pence in the pound was what these big earners were asked to pay (hence the exile). There’s snippets of information providing a glimmer of hope: Tumbling Dice, that divine beauty of a song, was amusingly hashed together by Jagger after a banally simple conversation with one of their cleaners about gambling. Casino Boogie was literally a lottery of phrases that were jumbled together (hell, it works somehow). Otherwise, the real enjoyment only comes from hearing those songs again. Perhaps it was No Direction Home that raised my standards ridiculously high for music-documentaries, but it really is true: for some reason, the only good thing about Stones in Exile is hearing Exile On Main Street.

2 Responses to “Stones in Exile (Stephen Kijak, 2010)”

  1. 1 Glen Glimmer

    i just read that the “video footage of the band jamming” is actually culled from over 40 hours of Robert Frank’s outtakes of “Cocksucker Blues”. did you see the whole film on BBC? (I heard NBC chopped the hell out of it) – dude must have done something right if the Stones called him up. his “Scott Walker” film was f’ing brilliant. I thought the Exile film rocked. caught the whole vibe of it perfectly. so easy to be cynical, isn’t it?

  2. 2 jacobwilliamson

    the BBC version ran for an hour exactly, so it might have been chopped down slightly; i don’t know. even IMDb doesn’t have the official running time?

    it felt like the time insofar as there was little modern footage and it was all black and white, first hand recording and so on. but otherwise… i mean, i want to learn stuff from documentaries. i really didn’t from this one.

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