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Festival Express (2003)

7.6
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 1,724 users   Metascore: 85/100
Reviews: 45 user | 61 critic | 26 from Metacritic.com

The filmed account of a large Canadian rock festival train tour.

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Title: Festival Express (2003)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Rick Danko ...
Himself - The Band
...
Himself - The Band
Garth Hudson ...
Himself - The Band
Richard Manuel ...
Himself - The Band
...
Himself - The Band
Bonnie Bramlett ...
Herself - Delaney & Bonnie & Friends
Delaney Bramlett ...
Himself - Delaney & Bonnie & Friends
Ben Benay ...
Himself - Delaney & Bonnie & Friends
Sam Clayton ...
Himself - Delaney & Bonnie & Friends
Jim Gordon ...
Himself - Delaney & Bonnie & Friends
Kenny Gradney ...
Himself - Delaney & Bonnie & Friends / Interviewee
Jerry Jumonville ...
Himself - Delaney & Bonnie & Friends
Darrell Leonard ...
Himself - Delaney & Bonnie & Friends
Frank Maize ...
Himself - Delaney & Bonnie & Friends
Chuck Morgan ...
Himself - Delaney & Bonnie & Friends
Edit

Storyline

In the summer of 1970, a chartered train crossed Canada carrying some of the world's greatest rock bands. The Grateful Dead, Janis Joplin, The Band, Buddy Guy, and others lived (and partied) together for five days, stopping in major cities along the way to play live concerts. Their journey was filmed. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

band | train | rock band | canada | summer | See more »

Taglines:

Festival Express... The longest party in rock-n-roll history.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

29 April 2004 (Netherlands)  »

Also Known As:

Festival Express  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$12,074 (USA) (23 July 2004)

Gross:

$1,172,345 (USA) (12 November 2004)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the "C.C. Rider" jam scene, Jerry Garcia can be seen playing the famous rosewood Fender Telecaster played by George Harrison in the last public performance of The Beatles, on the roof of Apple Headquarters. It was loaned to Garcia by Delaney Bramlett; the two can be seen on-stage together during the jam. Harrison had given it to Bramlett after they toured together briefly. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Goedemorgen Nederland: Episode dated 29 April 2004 (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

Tell Mama
Performed by Janis Joplin
Written by Clarence Carter (as C. Carter), Marcus Daniel (as M. Daniel), Wlibur Terrell (as W. Terrell)
Published by EMI Music Publishing
Janis Joplin appears courtesy of Columbia Records/Sony Music Entertainment
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Opinion from a complete non-fan of the music....
10 May 2005 | by (Toronto, Canada) – See all my reviews

Before seeing this film, I was a completely novice to The Band, Grateful Dead, Janis. I'm 22, I didn't grow up with this stuff, my only knowledge of The Band is that Scorcese directed a film on their last concert. I have a few hippie friends that endless blathered about the brilliance of Janis, which fell upon my deaf ears. I was expecting Festival Express to be this dull, venture into 70's nostalgia crap and tedious jam band boredom.

Oh...how my opinion has changed. I mean, its nothing like the music I love (90's alternative stuff and electronic stuff) but the performances are so absolutely incredible and passionate. In reality, its a film for musicians more than fans, people that who have, even for a moment, felt the sheer exhilaration of collaborating musically with people and it being perfect! Festival Express feels exactly like that. You see it in their eyes in these performances. Janis may have been.....kind of crazy, but in the track in the film ("cry baby"?) I can completely see her absolute passion for music and her amazing showmanship (or show-womanship). Festival Express is the best example of a completely non-contrived and purely candid look into these bands. Even if they are brief glimmers of their natural selves.

I think the die-hard fans who are criticizing the film are asking too much. If I can wait 30 years after the demise of my favorite bands (Radiohead, Tool, Nine Inch Nails)...to see an amazingly honest and brilliantly shot look into their touring lives, I would be very very grateful, not critical because the damned filmmakers didn't get everything I wanted. The interviews with the performers and particularly the promoter, are fantastic. Not only are they a good dose of humour, but...its so easy to see WHY they are saying this tour was absolutely special and unique and memorable. It's right there on film, this was the pinnacle of that era and that place and that mentality and musicianship that was going on. You have to appreciate what Festival Express showcases. You might not like every bit of music (I didn't) but I can appreciate the total intensity and passion of the performances.


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