Neil Best leaves no stone unturned in the world of sports media.
'Last Play at Shea' is nostalgic gold
"The Last Play at Shea," another Tribeca/ESPN entry, does not yet have a distribution deal, but eventually it will because it has to.
This is a must-watch for anyone who is from Long Island, or who likes Billy Joel and/or the Beatles and/or the Mets, or who is middle-aged.
If you are all of the above, and if, like me, you happened to be there on July 18, 2008, when Paul McCartney joined Joel on stage at Shea Stadium to close the place as a music venue, well . . .
Let's just say I teared up at a movie for the first time since the Carter Administration.
"Last Play" is an unusual film, in that it combines elements of a traditional concert movie with a biography of Joel with a nostalgic look back at the Mets and their stadium, including interviews with Tom Seaver, Ralph Kiner, Keith Hernandez, Mike Piazza, Ron Darling, Darryl Strawberry and Gary Cohen
But all sorts of other interesting people turn up, from Sting to Garth Brooks to Tony Bennett to Roger Daltrey.
Great quote from Sting: "Look, I'm English. I know nothing about baseball. For me, Shea was the place where the Beatles played."
One of the stars of the film turns out to be long-time groundskeeper Pete Flynn, who like McCartney was there both in '65 and '08.
The film closes with a fantastic time-lapse look at Shea's disappearance.
I'm no expert on how the movie business works, but let me say this: When this film finally turns up outside the festival, watch it.
Here is Glenn Gamboa's take in Newsday last week.