Lambert & Stamp
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LAMBERT AND STAMP tells the remarkable story of Chris Stamp and Kit Lambert, aspiring filmmakers who set out to find a subject for their underground movie, leading them to discover, mentor, and manage the iconic band that would become known as THE WHO. They forged a complex and moving relationship, fueling the band’s artistic development and leaving an indelible imprint on their time and generations to come. The film is charged with a mad concoction of noise, love, rebellion, artistry, and hilarity, as it takes us along on the surprising ride of two men who shaped one of the most exciting bands of all time.
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There are several factors why this is such an entertaining documentary: for one, it's a great story, I mean you can't make this stuff up! Then we are blessed to have the interviews with Chris Stamp, who turns out to be a master story teller (other interviewees include Pete Townsend, Roger and Heather Daltrey, and many others). Then we have the incredible luck that these guys were trying to shoot a movie, and hence we have all this incredible footage from the earliest days of the High Numbers/the Who (1964-65), and that alone is worth the price of admission for this documentary. There is tons of other worthwhile archive footage, such as the 1967 French TV footage, where we see Lambert give an interview in perfect French. We reach the "Tommy"-era about 75 min. into the movie, and I was afraid that things were going to become less interesting after that, but as it turns out, that's where the fireworks are about to start... As a casual fan of the Who but an ardent fan of rock music and its history, I found this documentary absolutely worth seeing. The only negative comment that I have is that for some strange reason, the sound mix in the theater was such that at times the background music (usually of the Who) played too loudly and as a result I had trouble understanding the interviewee at times. Very strange.
"Lambert & Stamp" opened recently at my local art-house theater here in Cincinnati for what turned out to be a one week run, so I was quite lucky to see it on the last day of its run here. The early evening screening where I saw this at was surprisingly well attended. If you are a fan of the Who or of rock music history, you will not want to miss this. "Lambert & Stamp" is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
If you are looking for a "puff piece", move on.
If you are looking for a treasure trove of unseen archival footage, move on.
If you have read books on The Who, and want to better understand the relationship(s) between Lambert, Stamp, and The Who, then you will definitely want to watch. The movie goes into good detail via interviews with Stamp, Townshend, and Daltrey. 40 years later, you can still see the sense of betrayal and sadness in Pete's face when he describes the beginning of the breakup between Lambert/Stamp and The Who. I have been a Whophile since 1989, and this movie lent insight into the most inspirational management The Who ever had. I am glad I bought it.
However, this is not quite a biography of Lambert or Stamp. I believe this movie could have been a little better if it at least addressed the deaths of Lambert and Stamp.
Men who brought us THE WHO, Jimi Hendrix, Arthur Brown, Thunderclap Newman, and more with the first UK independent label TRACK RECORDS. A gem ! Full participation of The Who and rare archival footage!
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Interesting to a Who fan