Bring On the Night (1985)

Bring On the Night (1985)

“One of the great things about my life is that I haven’t the faintest idea what I’m gonna be doing in a year’s time.”

Sting works closely with his new band (Omar Hakim, Darryl Jones, Kenny Kirkland, Branford Marsalis, Dolette McDonald, and Janice Pendarvis) as they prepare to perform live in Paris.

Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:

  • Concert Films
  • Documentary
  • Michael Apted Films

Michael Apted (RIP, 1/7/21) directed this intriguing behind-the-scenes look at rock-star Sting going solo and collaborating with a jazz-oriented group of musicians. It won “Best Music Video, Long Form” at the 1987 Grammy Awards (which makes complete sense), and remains an invaluable time capsule of the artist at work. There’s a nice balance of light-hearted banter, creative collaboration, and truly fine music — especially by pianist Kenny Kirkland and saxophonist Branford Marsalis. While it’s not must-see by all film fanatics, it’s a well-done example of what concert films can offer to audiences.

Redeeming Qualities and Moments:

  • An intriguing glimpse behind the scenes of Sting’s creative world

Must See?
No, but it’s recommended. Listed as a Personal Recommendation in the back of Peary’s book.


One thought on “Bring On the Night (1985)

  1. Agreed; not must-see, but it’s certainly a unique concert film / documentary.

    What distinguishes ‘BOTN’ from flicks like ‘Let’s Spend the Night Together’ and ‘Let It Be’ is that director Apted has taken a broader approach to his subject. Yes, there are concert sequences – satisfying ones – but the doc also deconstructs what it takes in building what band member Marsalis calls Sting’s “project”.

    Sting himself refers to it as the organizing of a new band but its nature suggests that it’s somewhat temporary (I don’t actually know how long this ‘project’ went on). The members seem to have come together with a clear purpose but not necessarily with the intention of longevity. There’s the suggestion that longevity is not what music is about and that a band’s lifespan is determined by how long a kinetic quality lasts.

    Through interviews, we get a sense of what seemed to make the members work so effectively together – and we also get personal observations from Sting about his approach to music and his approach to life (as witnessed by his presence at the birth of one of his children).

    Not least of all… this is really good, wonderfully intelligent music.

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