- Movie Rating -

Bring on the Night (1985)

| November 8, 1985

I have to admit that I have never been a fan of Sting or his music.  I don’t know, there’s something about his style that doesn’t appeal to me.  I find his vocal stylings to be whiney and I have always been put off by his habit of repeating the chorus 200 times.  Never-the-less, I entered into the rock documentary Bring on the Night with the hope that possibly I might be given a new appreciation for his craft. I wasn’t convinced that he could make me like his music, but possibly I could walk away with a better understanding of how he works behind the scenes.

This was not to be.  Bring on the Night is not an in-depth documentary.  It’s a pompous love letter to Sting’s genius and spends a lot of time focusing on his philosophy and his love for his wife, whom we see talking about her upcoming childbirth and then eventually giving birth to their son in scenes that you might only imagine having seen on The Learning Channel.

The film is suppose to focus on the early formation of Sting’s solo jazz-inspired band and often we do see them in rehearsals and performing a great many of the musician’s former hits, but those scenes are intercut with Sting’s long-winded stories about his life and about his philosophies such as his appreciation for the times when he would hear people idly singing one of his songs – once he heard a window washer humming “Walking on the Moon” and he almost wept.  I also enjoyed his philosophy about his touring musical group as a ship that sails around the world without stopping or ever resting.  After that he says he doesn’t know where he’ll be in a year’s time.  Ug!

All-too-briefly, the movie features interviews with the people around Sting including his manager who is frustrated by the way things are being handled.  Also, Kenny Kirkland the keyboardist who has so much energy and so is such a lively subject for an interview that I wish the movie would have given him equal time.  I was also intrigued by Dolette McDonald whose early experience was working the streets as a prostitute before getting herself together and becoming a musician.

These people are interesting but just as we are getting interest in their stories, the movie cuts back to whatever Sting wants to drone on about.  The movie is all Sting talking about his music.  We see the music.  We get glimpses of the rehearsal sessions but where is the blood, sweat and tears that go into a musician’s work and his craft?  Where are the moments of doubt and tension?  When the movie is over you get the sense that it was all left out to protect the artist, to keep from casting him in a bad light.  I think the deleted scenes from this movie are probably the movie they should have made.

About the Author:

Jerry Roberts is a film critic and operator of two websites, Armchair Cinema and Armchair Oscars.
(1985) View IMDB Filed in: Documentary