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 <email@example.com>
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 »
This is the largest group of people ever assembled in one place, and I think you people have proven something to the world: that a half a million kids can get together and have three days of fun and music and have nothing *but* fun and music, and I God bless you for it!
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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 »
I was 8 years old the time this event took place and having older siblings into the times, styles, and cultures of the era I certainly got a feel and liking for the bands in this documentary. I have seen bits and pieces of this event throughout the years, but never took the time to sit down and watch the whole event from start to finish; that is until last weekend. This definitely is what music documentaries have used as the measuring stick to define themselves ever since. The Director's Cut, which is what I viewed, is 224 min in length. It's amazing how one can get "sucked into the experience" and not notice the time elapsing! The Remastered version is incredible especially regarding the visual and audio equipment used in that time period. The 2 channel effect with the split screen is interesting and keeps the viewer entertained by the different sounds and noises in the interview segments. Best musical and visual picks are Jimi Hendrix, CSN, Country Joe (cute use of the "bouncing ball" - can we say Karaoke?), Jefferson Airplane, and my favorite Janis Joplin. If you're a period person, grew up in the late 60's, or appreciate classic rock music, then I urge you to go and watch this classic piece of work.
9 out of 10 ***
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