In August 1970 600,000 fans flocked to the Isle of Wight to witness the third and final festival to be held on the island. Besides the music, they also got a look at the greed, cynicism and...
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Godard's documentation of late 1960s Western counter-culture, examining the Black Panthers, referring to works by LeRoi Jones and Eldridge Cleaver. Other notable subjects are the role of ... See full summary »
Originally filmed in December 1968, "The Rock and Roll Circus" was originally intended to be released as a television special. The special was filmed over two nights and featured not only ... See full summary »
In August 1970 600,000 fans flocked to the Isle of Wight to witness the third and final festival to be held on the island. Besides the music, they also got a look at the greed, cynicism and corruption that would plague the music industry for years to come. They also witnessed the final, drugged out performance of Jimi Hendrix in England just two weeks before he would meet a tragic death. When it all was over, the fans view of rock and roll was never the same. Written by
Brian Washington <Sargebri@att.net>
The Who allowed the organizers to used their sound equipment during the entire festival. See more »
Bert "The Agent:
They claim that it isn't money that they're interested in. Nobody seems to be interested in money, the agents, the artists, you, me, so forth and so on. But to put one of these festivals on everybody's got to be paid. It couldn't be love, 'cause they love money.
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OK, there's no denying this documentary does a good job of capturing the spirit of the time in which the festival occurred--we get plenty of interviews with scraggly hippies in the crowd voicing their opinions about how the concert should be free to the people and how their love for the music is being exploited by the man--yet when it comes to respectfully showcasing that very music what do we end up with? Abbreviated, often truncated versions of timeless, classic performances that I'm positive was the reason the majority of the buyers of this DVD purchased the disc in the first place.
From a bit of research, it appears this first turned up on VHS tape back in the mid-90's so its two hour length makes sense when considering the limitations of that medium (a two-hour, SP speed videotape was considered about the maximum length to get good video/audio reproduction without causing undue stress on the tape). However, when it came time to put this on DVD, it seems there was no extra effort to put out a proper release of this event, one that should have necessitated at the very least restoring the FULL-LENGTH versions of the majority of songs that appear in this movie. With all the great musical performers at this show, there is definitely a guaranteed market to return this minor investment and probably negate the very criticisms that I'm mentioning here.
Not only that, but the DVD is two-sided with each side only running an hour in length. Um, wtf? Why double-side it when a single side of a DVD can easily hold 2 hours worth of material? I know this DVD has been marked-down for sale at under $10 at most sites, so it's not a tremendous burden to purchase if you absolutely must obtain it, but still it's sad the missed opportunity they had here to release something that could have joined Gimme Shelter and Woodstock as a great document of a key musical and cultural event that was presented with the best modern technology can offer.
To quote the very words that someone voices during the film, "we blew it."
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