Tonight's graduate class was devoted to A) a discussion of Joan Didion's Play It As It Lays, a novel of dissolute late 1960s Hollywood, and her non-fiction about the same period from The White Album; B) a screening of the Maysles brothers' classic documentary Gimme Shelter, chronicling the Rolling Stones' 1969 American tour and its savage conclusion at Altamont. It was a devastating and highly instructive combination. The shot of Keith Richards singing along to "Wild Horses" in Alabama's famous Muscle Shoals studio, followed by a close-up of his weather-worn cowboy boots keeping time is one of my favorite film moments. And Didion means the world to me. It was a great night in the classroom.