15 October, 2009


Like Back in the US, Red Square is mislabelled. The cover says it's a concert film, but it's really a tour film. As a tour film though, it's way ahead of Back in the US. The fans have interesting things to say unlike the collages of embarrassing throwbacks to Beatlemania that we saw in the previous deev. On the downside, we are treated to some rather dodgy revisionist history. Apparently the Beatles brought down communism. That was nice of them. I hope Reagan and Gorbachev sent thank-you notes.

This is where Paul leaves himself wide open to accusations of rewriting history with himself as the star. If he feels such an affinity with the people of Russia, as he claims to, it makes you wonder what took him so long to get there. After all, Billy Joel played in Moscow in 1987 and Elton John did it pre-glasnost in 1979.

The concert footage is played out of sequence to match the narrative of the documentary which is, at times, extremely moving – especially the visit to a St. Petersburg orphanage. The concert itself, when we see it, shows the band at the peak of their powers but (AARGH!) the director interrupts the songs again! If the performance of Fool on the Hill was so special, let us hear it instead of talking over it to tell us how special it was! Or at least give us a Music Only option.

The big thrill of this DVD comes from the extra performance in St. Petersburg. At last an uninterrupted concert! It's only 45 minutes but it's the best McCartney live show to be released on DVD so far.
Along with all the regulars, Red Square includes the first live performances of Two of Us, Flaming Pie and I've Got a Feeling, plus the first live video of Calico Skies and She's Leaving Home.

Highlight: St. Petersburg
Feature: * * * ½
Extras: * * * *
Audio: Dolby Stereo, Dolby 5.1, DTS

Previously posted at Strawberry Fields and at Fishpond.


  1. You'd think the DVDs could have the option of just watching the show. If they could put both versions of Apocalypse Now together how hard can it be to put an uninterrupted concert on a concert DVD?

  2. Exactly!
    I think it's called "branching" when they have two edits of a movie on the one disc without having the entire film on twice. Even Yellow Submarine has a music-only audio track.