Jake Roedel and Jack Bull Chiles are friends in Missouri when the Civil War starts. Women and Blacks have few rights. Jack Bull's dad is killed by Union soldiers, so the young men join the ... See full summary »
I worshiped the youth culture from afar in the late sixties. I was too young to participate but did my best to disrupt jr. high assemblies with the Fish cheer. I didn't know about the Woodstock Festival until two weeks after it occurred, and I remember how much I hated being oppressed by a traditional establishment patriarchy who wouldn't even drive me across town to an anti-war demonstration. When I finally saw the documentary the following year, I knew I had missed something that was epic and iconic. (Big sigh...)
I had been looking forward to "Taking Woodstock" since I first read that it was in production. I was particularly eager to see Demetri Martin in a starring role; I've admired him for some time. I've also spent quality time in the Catskills--I love that part of the country. Lee's film certainly captures the beauty of White Lake, and generally recreates the groove and vibe of a specific time and place, but the narrative seemed somehow disjointed (unintentional pun) There seemed to be too many empty moments substituting for poignancy, and undeveloped stories that might have added a bit more depth to Lee's tale.
Demetri Martin as Eliot Teber, was adorable but I was frustrated by his poker face (something that makes his stage comedy hilarious). I enjoyed Liev Schreiber whose drag was not only believable, but also compelling. Henry Goodman, as Eliot's beleaguered father, was also finely developed, but Imelda Stauntan played his mother as a shrewish fishwife with virtually no redeeming character qualities. Not even after pot brownies.
Seeing "Taking Woodstock" makes me miss my long lost soundtrack of the original concert, something I shall remedy this weekend. I'm also eager to watch the documentary again with it's hippie-trippie split screens and portraits of long gone poets, artists, and other kindred spirits.
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