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 »
The Driver is carrying an East Asian child who has been chosen for a strange rite. He must drive him through a dark night in the city to get to a monk's house, while eluding several U.S. ... See full summary »
The Thrilla in Manila was the third and final boxing match between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier. It was contested in 1975 for the heavyweight championship of the world at the Philippine ... See full summary »
In the end of the film Michael Lang says he's going to San Francisco to organize a free concert with the Rolling Stones. He's referring to the infamous Altamont Free Concert where four people ended up dead, one of them by homicide. Because of these violent events the concert was later on viewed as the end of the hippie era. See more »
Billy talks about beating Monticello High School and catching 3 touchdown passes. Monticello High School had no football team at that time nor did it have one for decades prior to the festival. Also, if Billy was from White Lake or Bethel, he would have attended Monticello High School and would not have been playing against them. See more »
Written by Melanie (as Melanie Safka)
Performed by Melanie
Courtesy of Buddah Records and The RCA/Jive Label Group, a unit of Sony Music Entertainment
By arrangement with Sony Music Entertainment See more »
A loving and lovely tribute to a brief moment in time
Perhaps more than most films, you'll either get this or you won't. Ang Lee seems to have conjured up the past with an accuracy that most filmmakers would spoil with reverence. Through a series of vignettes and very small references to Wadleigh's 1970 documentary, "Woodstock," a legendary moment in culture gets celebrated with a sweetness that was part of the era that quickly evaporated.
I was reminded of the film "Dirty Dancing" not just in the setting but in the tone. Ang Lee keeps the humor from becoming too broad in depiction of the locals whose lives were about to up-ended in a way that no one anticipated but few would not welcome. The actors in particular find a common level to play with that draws the audience into the excitement. We know what will happen, but as the momentum builds to the actual event the audience is swept away just as the characters in the film are.
The key character, a very unimposing Demetri Martin, never falters in this coming-of-age story that mirrors the culture changes swirling around him. He gives a very strong performance and is virtually never off the screen.
I had read that the "main event" isn't recreated, and that's partially true. However, we "see" what most of the actual participants of the event saw of the performances on a stage set up in a cow field. It's a stunning moment in the film and as magical as the experience must have been. I was roughly the same age as the character, struggling with the changes of adolescence at a moment in time when there really weren't road-maps for the future. While I was far away from the East Coast, this event reached me in many of the same ways as the characters in the film. I suppose for most people my age that was also true.
While I flinched a few times when a "plot" would intrude into this whole dazzling work, it served the purpose for the power and point of the final moments: Standing in the muddy aftermath the hope of what was going to happen next was palpable for a whole generation, but the next event, Altamont with the Rolling Stones, ended it all with crushing horror. Yet, the optimism is still alive, I think. Equality for many racial and sexual minorities were fulfilled or are being so fulfilled at this time and one of the more ironic points of the film was actually scored during the trailers that preceded the feature: the previews for Michael Moore's "Capitalism" and that subject is what really ended the counterculture.
But for Ang Lee he gives the 40th Anniversary of the Woodstock festival an original and unsentimental celebration. (And if hippies annoy you, this isn't the film you need to see.)
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