An intimate look at the Woodstock Music & Art Festival held in Bethel, NY in 1969, from preparation through cleanup, with historic access to insiders, blistering concert footage, and portraits of the concertgoers; negative and positive aspects are shown, from drug use by performers to naked fans sliding in the mud, from the collapse of the fences by the unexpected hordes to the surreal arrival of National Guard helicopters with food and medical assistance for the impromptu city of 500,000.Written by
Dan Hartung <firstname.lastname@example.org>
When the promoters were negotiating to get Grateful Dead to perform at the festival, Bill Graham, who was managing the band at the time, insisted that the promoters include one of two other acts he managed on the bill. Michael Lang listened to recordings of both bands and liked them so much that he couldn't decide which one to put on the bill and wound up flipping a coin; the winner would be booked. The losing band was It's a Beautiful Day. The band that won the flip was Santana, which would achieve superstardom on the basis of their appearances at both the festival and in the film. See more »
Okay. Go ahead.
Sidney Westerfield, Local merchant:
My name is Sidney Westerfield. I'm the owner of this antique tavern, Mongaup Valley, New York State. I was here when this crowd really came. We expected 50,000 a day and there must have been a million. I, myself, was hungry for two days because I couldn't get any food! I couldn't go out to buy any food.
Sidney Westerfield, Local merchant:
I was eatin' cornflakes for two days. And the kids were wonderful. I had no kick. It was, "Sir, this" and "Sir, that" and "Thank you, this" and "Thank you, ...
[...] See more »
THANKS TO AT WOODSTOCK: Vinnie of the Silverspur, The Hog Farm, The Merry Pranksters AT HOME: Pete, Gloria and Herman; Norbert and Vic; Dulcinda See more »
A Director's Cut was released in 1994. This version includes Janis Joplin, and extra footage of Jefferson Airplane, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Johnny Winter and Jimi Hendrix. It's 228? minutes, 6354? meters long, with remixed Dolby SR-D sound. See more »
"Woodstock" was meant as a documentary about the famous 3-day 1969 New York rock festival of the same name, but it's really more valuable as a record of 1960's hippy culture. This is unquestionably the best film to capture the spirit of the 60's. Between musical acts, the camera meanders through the audience and the enormous outlying crowds to interview spectators, or just eves-drop on the scene. This is the most interesting, entertaining, and eye-opening aspect of the film.
Several of the musical performances are memorable and deserve mention: Richie Havens' awesome concert opener is a classic--you could watch it a hundred times and still get goose bumps--pure magic. Jimi Hendrix comes pretty close to magic also with the final musical number. His frenzied rendition of the "Star Spangled Banner" is incredible, and a fitting closer. Country Joe and the Fish and Joe Cocker are also memorable. A few of the musical acts don't seem to fit: Sha-Na-Na comes across as a weird oddity--(a throwback to the fifties), and Alvin Lee's "Ten Years After" is just too long and boring. Most of the other performances are so-so, but worth watching.
Overall, the film captures the mood, spirit, and music of the times better than any other. I would also venture to say that this may be one of the very best documentaries ever filmed on any subject. The depth of coverage is spectacular -- fitting for such a historical event. A great movie!
40 of 46 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this