Martin Scorsese made cinematic history with the première of his concert documentary The Last Waltz — which followed the final 1976 performance of the rock quintet The Band, one of the era’s most influential rock groups. The five-hour concert was held on Thanksgiving Day in 1976 at the Winterland Theatre in San Francisco, and in honor of the landmark event’s 25th anniversary, MGM Home Entertainment has issued a special-edition DVD release of the feature-length film.
Highlights on Waltz — besides Scorsese’s outstanding filming techniques and the performances of guests Bob Dylan, Emmy-lou Harris, Joni Mitchell, Van Morrison, Neil Diamond, Muddy Waters, and Ringo Starr (just to name a few) — include never-before-seen “jam footage” by The Band, Eric Clapton, Stephen Stills, Neil Young, and others; the original theatrical trailer; and a television adver-tisement for the concert. Plus, in the featurette “Revisiting the Last Waltz,” Scorsese and Band member Robbie Robertson offer insight into the experiences of making a live concert documentary. Young or old, The Last Waltz will definitely strike a chord.
— ANNA FIALHO
THE CURVE OF THE WORLD
By Marcus Stevens (Algonquin Books, $25)
After a New York businessman finds himself lost in the middle of the Congo rain forest, he struggles to survive while also confronting his deepest fears and disappointments: his crumbling marriage, a distant relationship with his young son, and the lack of true meaning in his life. A Congolese boy is the unlikely hero in a fast-paced tale that explores the limits of human resilience.
OUR READ: AN INTRIGUING DEBUT
PROFILES IN COURAGE FOR OUR TIME
Edited by Caroline Kennedy (Hyperion, $24)
In the spirit of her father’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Profiles in Courage, Caroline Kennedy introduces a collection of 13 essays written by a baker’s dozen of today’s finest authors, each detailing acts of heroism by current elected officials. Included in the collection are works by Anna Quindlen, writing about Governor James Florio’s passing of the most strict gun-control law in the nation; Bob Woodward on Gerald Ford; and Michael Daly on Irish peacemakers.
OUR READ: AN IMPORTANT READ FOR POLITICAL CYNICS
By Lee Child (G.P. Putnam’s Sons, $26)
The sixth installment in Child’s award-winning series follows Jack Reacher as he skillfully takes the security detail of the vice president to task. An exercise soon turns deadly as Reacher finds himself up against a deadly team of assassins that has the VP in its sights.
OUR READ: ANOTHER COOL JACK TALE
THE NEW YORKER BOOK OF GOLF CARTOONS
Edited by Robert Mankoff (Bloomberg Press, $22)
Mankoff, cartoon editor for The New Yorker, has culled the best golf cartoons published in the magazine over the last several decades and created an impressive and hilarious 128-page collection.
OUR READ: A HOLE-IN-ONE PRESENT FOR THE GOLFER IN YOUR LIFE