DVD Review: The Love We Make

I'm not sure which is worse: the fact that I wasn't aware of this wonderful documentary or that I am so ill equipped to speak with any authority on it.

You see, I am surrounded by rabid McCartney fans on every front so I hesitate to even open my mouth without the fear of being eaten alive at the slightest misstep.

Let's start with something I never knew.

On the morning of September 11th, 2001, Paul McCartney was sitting comfortably aboard an airplane in New York City awaiting take off when the unthinkable happened and history changed. His plans foiled but his resolve bolstered, this movie is the story of what happened in the six weeks that followed that catastropic nightmare and what one man was determined to do about it.

We are along for the ride with McCartney and Albert Maysles behind the camera as the legendary musician forms and executes a plan to do something for a wounded New York, a city very different from the one where the Beatles landed in 1964.

Knowing where his strengths lie, McCartney begins the journey by thinking he'll perform a small concert for New York's firefighters, but then scraps that in favor of headlining the Concert For New York City that VH1 had planned for Madison Square Garden.

We get to watch all the events leading up the big day including some jaw-dropping rehersals, endless promotional interviews (watch for one chilling moment when Dan Rather has to apologize for being late to his spot with McCartney by telling him about the huge anthrax scare at his office), and personal revelations from McCartney himself (he could never reform The Beatles because there would always be someone missing (John) and could never reform Wings because of the void left by his deceased wife Linda).

Some of the best moments here are of the always charming McCartney just walking on the New York City streets with his film crew talking to locals and dealing with the mobs that still follow him wherever he goes. If you were foolish enough not to love him before this, you surely will now.

Shot in beautiful black and white, New York is given lots of loving treatment in this tribute to a city that refused to lay down and die even when things were at their worst. Perhaps there is no better musician than McCartney to bring that point home. Why it took ten years to get this gem of a film on DVD is beyond me, but I'm sure glad it's here.

Paul McCartney's The Love We Make is available now.

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