Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, John Paul Jones, John Bonham. Directed by Joe Massot.
The definitive record of a live performance by what is still perhaps the greatest rock band of all time. There are a handful of other films of Led Zeppelin playing live but none matches this for its close-up intimacy and immediacy. Filmed at the height of their success in 1973, following the release of the House of the Holy album, it contains an almost complete performance, as well as some fascinating backstage footage and biographical fantasy sequences featuring each of the individual band members as well as their infamous manager. Though the fantasy sequences have not aged well, the live performance – here in its 2007 remixed version – is often extraordinary and the musicianship astonishing. Though all four members get their moment in the spotlight, it’s especially notable how completely this is guitarist Jimmy Page’s show. Yes, the performances often veer towards self-indulgent, but as a record of one of the best bands in the world at the peak of their ability it’s unmatched.