I have never seen Woodstock?

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Should I bother? I pretty much don't like any of the bands at all, yet I feel I should see it just for the Sly performance of "Higher" and the Hendrix bit. The rest scans rather badly to me.... I do like festival docs in general (Isle of Wight, for example, is a great movie)

Shakey Mo Collier, Tuesday, 17 May 2005 22:06 (fifteen years ago) link

Watch it on fast-forward.

Alex in SF (Alex in SF), Tuesday, 17 May 2005 22:07 (fifteen years ago) link

nah, it's terrible.

cindy williams permafrost (Jody Beth Rosen), Tuesday, 17 May 2005 22:07 (fifteen years ago) link

That's probably the better advice, but if you feel like you have to watch it, then fast-forward.

Alex in SF (Alex in SF), Tuesday, 17 May 2005 22:09 (fifteen years ago) link

why did I phrase the title as a question? *shakes head*

Shakey Mo Collier, Tuesday, 17 May 2005 22:09 (fifteen years ago) link

Yes, you should watch it. There are parts that will make you cringe, parts that are tolerable, and a few, ever so rare, moments that make you go "damn, that must have been fucking awesome!"

I loved the way it chronicled a moment in American and pop music history that will never be duplicated. It's funny, and sort of touching to see some of the hippies and their druggy naivete and optimism, knowing that many if not most of them are now conservative Boomers hell-bent on trying to undo the damage they did to themselves 30-odd years ago. They probably vote Republican now, too.

As a documentary on late 60's pop-culture, it's great. As a concert film, it has too many awful parts to make it great in that regard.

Highlights for me;

Richie Havens, Santana, Hendrix, The Who, the porta-potty guy, Max Yasgur, and the skinny-dipping of course :)

Davlo (Davlo), Tuesday, 17 May 2005 22:44 (fifteen years ago) link

> I pretty much don't like any of the bands at all

ANY of the bands that played Woodstock? That's a lot of territory, man ...

Sly's energy is astonishing, at any rate.

Joseph McCombs (Joseph McCombs), Wednesday, 18 May 2005 00:10 (fifteen years ago) link

Watch Montery Pop instead.

walter kranz (walterkranz), Wednesday, 18 May 2005 01:08 (fifteen years ago) link

i've only seen bits and pieces of it and yes, it is very stupid and gay

Aerodynamic (Aerodynamic), Wednesday, 18 May 2005 01:34 (fifteen years ago) link

i like the crowd scenes and the setting up footage more than the musical performances, it's goofy but worth seeing once. ditto monterey pop.

Amon (eman), Wednesday, 18 May 2005 02:32 (fifteen years ago) link

monterey pop is amazing.

it's a shankar love-fest. WE ALL NEED A SHANKAR LOVE-FEST.

bangor, Wednesday, 18 May 2005 02:51 (fifteen years ago) link

Two best Woodstock scenes:
1) Sly Stone, blowing everyone else off the stage. Just amazing.
2) The port-o-john cleaner, bringing us back to reality with his casual mention of a son fighting in Vietnam.

Jazzbo (jmcgaw), Wednesday, 18 May 2005 10:24 (fifteen years ago) link

I watched it on Late Night TV, once.

I got as far as when CSN came on, and I thought, That's all...

mark grout (mark grout), Wednesday, 18 May 2005 10:33 (fifteen years ago) link

Its ok, I like Havens, Sly, Santana....the rest can suck it.

Chris 'The Nuts' V (Chris V), Wednesday, 18 May 2005 10:36 (fifteen years ago) link

Michael Shrieve during Soul Sacrifice is a highlight in itself.

Chris 'The Nuts' V (Chris V), Wednesday, 18 May 2005 10:38 (fifteen years ago) link

"ANY of the bands that played Woodstock? "

okay, the only ones featured in the film that I like are the Who and Sly. Hendrix = eh, allright, but seen/heard it a million times.

Shakey Mo Collier, Wednesday, 18 May 2005 17:45 (fifteen years ago) link

I think it's a really watchable movie, no matter what you think of the bands. The set up and crowd scenes are interesting, and it's a well shot movie. Musically, it's not as good as Monterey Pop, but there are plenty of good performances (Richie Havens especially).

Scott CE (Scott CE), Wednesday, 18 May 2005 18:52 (fifteen years ago) link

I would say that cinematically it's not as good as Monterey Pop either. Pennebaker pretty much set the standard for music docs with Monterey Pop.

walter kranz (walterkranz), Wednesday, 18 May 2005 19:00 (fifteen years ago) link

watch Festival Express instead.

Beta (abeta), Wednesday, 18 May 2005 19:16 (fifteen years ago) link

but that doesn't have ANY bands I like in it!

Shakey Mo Collier, Wednesday, 18 May 2005 19:18 (fifteen years ago) link

the music in festival express, besides Joplin, is worse...but, it is more watchable to a degree....Monterey Pop slightly inches past Woodstock because the Hendrix and Who performances are better, though both performances at Woodstock were stellar....the scene with Jimi doing that slow, hazy improvised instrumental after Purple Haze coupled with scenes of the mess people left behind is worth the price of admission...at the very least, its an interesting document of a moment in time, and no, it definitely does not "suck"

Space Is the Place (Space Is the Place), Wednesday, 18 May 2005 19:25 (fifteen years ago) link

I thought this was a poetic way of saying you have never been to the sleepy little arts and crafts hamlet in upstate New York known as Woodstock.

Ken L (Ken L), Wednesday, 18 May 2005 19:27 (fifteen years ago) link

Not worth it...

Bryan Moore (Bryan Moore), Wednesday, 18 May 2005 19:39 (fifteen years ago) link

As a documentary on late 60's pop-culture, it's great

otm. This is the best documentary on hippies I've seen. And yeah, not all the music is great, but I will never get tired of watching Santana trip. Also ace is Sly Stone's performance.

Dominique (dleone), Wednesday, 18 May 2005 19:47 (fifteen years ago) link

the woodstock dvd screws up the split screens (when only one section is on it makes it fill the screen)

a banana (alanbanana), Wednesday, 18 May 2005 19:47 (fifteen years ago) link

i have to watch it for the following class im taking:

“Writing Seminar in Film: Discovering the Rock and Roll Sublime”

Filmmakers have tried to capture the essence of rock and roll since the early 1950s. What is it about this form of music that has made it irresistible to directors as interesting and as disparate as Stanley Kubrick, Francis Ford Coppola, Alan Parker and Dennis Hopper? As we explore the question of how to frame our reactions to a popular cultural phenomenon in rigorous intellectual terms, we will briefly touch on definitions of beauty and the sublime in authors such as Longinus, Edmund Burke, Nietzsche, Ultimately, these theoretical considerations will merely form the frame: the main work of the class will consist of engaging in understanding representations of a rock-and-roll aesthetic on film. We will view films like Apocalypse Now, A Clockwork Orange, and The Wall. The class requires active participation; you will also attend weekly mandatory screenings outside of class, keep a journal and participate in frequent in-class writing exercises, in addition to writing several polished essays.

maria tessa sciarrino (theoreticalgirl), Wednesday, 18 May 2005 19:51 (fifteen years ago) link

the scene with Jimi doing that slow, hazy improvised instrumental after Purple Haze coupled with scenes of the mess people left behind is worth the price of admission...

yeah i love how they edited that so it's like everyone's already packed up and left and jimi's still wailing away without a care. richie havens and santanas sets are inspired too.

Amon (eman), Wednesday, 18 May 2005 22:42 (fifteen years ago) link

The Band is worse?

Beta (abeta), Wednesday, 18 May 2005 22:44 (fifteen years ago) link

i forgot, one of the bands near the beginning is fun to watch. i think it might be canned heat?

Amon (eman), Wednesday, 18 May 2005 22:48 (fifteen years ago) link

When I was 9, I taped the whole movie off of MTV. They played it one hour a day over the course of the three days in August on the 20th anniversary - according to "I Love the 80s" there was some sort of "hippie revival" type thing that took place around that time which I was oblivious to as a 9-year-old, but I suppose that would explain MTV's interest in participating in some sort of Woodstock memorial.

So I taped it, but didn't watch it right away because it was on late at night. But afterwards, I was a little afraid to finally view it for the first time because John Norris did some kind of disclaimer at the beginning which said something like "the film contains nudity, drug references and other material which may be sensitive to some viewers - viewer discretion is advised - mtv does not support or condone the abuse of illegal substances" and it gave me that chilling "FBI warning" type of scare that kept me away from watching it for a few months, but I did a few months later and I became a fan of nearly every band in the movie within the next year because of it - especially The Who, Sly, Santana and Hendrix. The songs in this movie were the first Hendrix and Who songs I had ever heard, so I consider it a pretty special film for me personally.

yeah i love how they edited that so it's like everyone's already packed up and left and jimi's still wailing away without a care.

There are clearly less people there for Hendrix than any other performer in the movie, so I'm sure it was the truth. I love this concept for some reason - of Jimi getting so lost in his shredding that half the audience loses interest and starts packing up.

the woodstock dvd screws up the split screens (when only one section is on it makes it fill the screen)

I was HIGHLY disappointed by this. Directors cut my ass. (Oh wait, I might be thinking of the VHS version.. I don't remember..)

billstevejim (billstevejim), Thursday, 19 May 2005 01:13 (fifteen years ago) link

saw the "Director's Cut" DVD this weekend... uh, fast forwarded through numerous parts. SO MANY BAD R&B COVERS. Seriously, 2/3rds of the music is earnest white guys "playin the blues". Just awful. Canned Heat was the only real surprise for me. They actually kinda rocked their r&b cover (and I'm also fond of overweight frontmen). Sly was great, as expected. Jimi too, altho in many of his shots all you could see was Jimi's head and then the giant cranes in the background. Really bad camera work.

Shakey Mo Collier, Tuesday, 31 May 2005 16:12 (fifteen years ago) link

Can't speak for the DVD, but the movie itself is a classic documentary & I won't hear a word against it! Even - especially - if you hate all the performers and performances (many are indeed less than impressive), there are still enough unforgettable bits & characters to make it a comedic masterpiece. Sure, everyone remembers the Port-O-San guy, but who can forget that paranoid hippie accusing the FBI of seeding the clouds to make rain and ruin their festival, man? That outraged middleaged city-dweller complaining about a field full of kids "hot on pot!" Arlo Guthrie drawling "Like I was rappin' to the fuzz, man, can ya dig it? New York State Throughway's closed, man! Lotta freaks!" Or that idiot with the paper bag over his head and watermelon in arm, racing and sliding through the mud toward some figmentary end zone he probably hallucinated! If you've got any sense of humour at all you should appreciate this stuff. Plus the multiscreen images ensure that there's always something to look at, and there ARE some great performances, even aside from Sly and Hendrix. And Martin Scorsese was one of the editors. "Woodstock" is a winner.

Myonga Von Bontee (Myonga Von Bontee), Tuesday, 31 May 2005 17:57 (fifteen years ago) link

I would rather watch MTV's Woodstock '94 footage

Aerodynamic (Aerodynamic), Tuesday, 31 May 2005 23:08 (fifteen years ago) link

" Sure, everyone remembers the Port-O-San guy"

I think I must've fast-forwarded through this part. Especially if it was in-between CSN and Joan Baez.

Shakey Mo Collier, Tuesday, 31 May 2005 23:24 (fifteen years ago) link

Don't take the brown acid. But do check: Ritchie Havens, Santana, Jimi, Sly, CSNY... Classic!

Bobby Peru (Bobby Peru), Wednesday, 1 June 2005 07:32 (fifteen years ago) link

" Sure, everyone remembers the Port-O-San guy"
I think I must've fast-forwarded through this part. Especially if it was in-between CSN and Joan Baez.

-- Shakey Mo Collier

Well, you certainly can't be faulted for THAT! Only the wretched John Sebastian was more insufferable than Joan Baez. (But that Port-O-San guy really is worth seeing.)

Myonga Von Bontee (Myonga Von Bontee), Wednesday, 1 June 2005 08:08 (fifteen years ago) link

Of course there's a lot crap on it...but damn, the last few bands. pffff. Normally I hate drum solo's but that Santana dude just nails it. Also used to get sort of misty-eyed watching Sly Stone, i mean it's a very uplifting performance but also has a strange sadness. yeah yeah Hendrix@Woodstock and all that, but I still find it a very powerful moment (those chords at the end...genius.)

Port-o-San guy rules and the friendly copper too. And who can argue against the "skinny-dipping is a beautiful thing" hippie godess?


Omar (Omar), Wednesday, 1 June 2005 08:39 (fifteen years ago) link

that idiot with the paper bag over his head and watermelon in arm, racing and sliding through the mud toward some figmentary end zone he probably hallucinate!

hahahaha!

Amon (eman), Wednesday, 1 June 2005 10:51 (fifteen years ago) link

Only the wretched John Sebastian was more insufferable than Joan Baez.

haha, I kept thinking "what a square" while he was singing. And did he really forget that one lyric, or was he fishing for audience participation?

Dominique (dleone), Wednesday, 1 June 2005 11:37 (fifteen years ago) link

you fugkncukles are forgetting when all the hippies trip out when they see abunch of freddie-mercury wanna-bes before freddie mercury come out and sing Duke of Earl.

queen gimme sommathatbrownacidnow!, Wednesday, 1 June 2005 13:03 (fifteen years ago) link

The image burned into my .. CRAW, I guess ... is that woman in the audience with the sunglasses who mouths "Wow. Wow, that's great" .. I think during the Hendix part. I'm not sure, because it's been spliced into so many documentaries over the years that I forget who she's actually grooving about.

diedre mousedropping and a quarter (Dave225), Wednesday, 1 June 2005 13:31 (fifteen years ago) link

I'll throw my support of the port-o-san guy behind the pack. It's been a while since I've seen it, but isn't there also a scene of some locals talking about how it's just a bunch of kids having fun and it's great that there can be a peaceful gathering that large? I seem to remember that being a great contrast to the grumbly types who bitched about hippies.

mike h. (mike h.), Wednesday, 1 June 2005 13:51 (fifteen years ago) link

from the imdb trivia page:

The film makers and distributor were sued by the man who was interviewed while cleaning the Port-O-San portable latrines, on the grounds of mental anguish, embarrassment, public ridicule, and invasion of privacy. An appellate court opinion in this lawsuit may be read at Taggart v. Wadleigh-Maurice, Ltd., 489 F.2d 434 (3d Cir. 1973).

a banana (alanbanana), Wednesday, 1 June 2005 17:06 (fifteen years ago) link

had to sit through it again tuesday night for class. its a great film, however i alternate between loving and hating scorsese's editing.

btw, here's some background info on the whole event:

http://www.woodstock69.com/wsrprnt1.htm

maria tessa sciarrino (theoreticalgirl), Thursday, 2 June 2005 17:13 (fifteen years ago) link

i reeally liked joan baez here

anthony easton (anthony), Thursday, 2 June 2005 21:23 (fifteen years ago) link

I would probably enjoy the Ten Years After part a lot better had it been about 8 times shorter. But for about a minute, it's pretty effing cool watching Alvin Lee's pre-"Heartbreaker" blues shredding.

I also think that Arlo Guthrie song is great, but it's just upsetting that they couldn't show the actual performance of it for whatever reason. (And on the soundtrack, that version wasn't even recorded at Woodstock.)

The worst performance in the whole movie is definitely Country Joe & The Fish performing whatever the hell they're trying to do.. It's labelled as "Rock And Soul Music" on the soundtrack.

billstevejim (billstevejim), Friday, 3 June 2005 02:57 (fifteen years ago) link

I would rather watch MTV's Woodstock '94 footage

I've got the entire weekend's PPV broadcast on VHS if you'd like...

Community Cornerstone (deangulberry), Friday, 3 June 2005 03:06 (fifteen years ago) link

mental anguish, embarrassment, public ridicule, and invasion of privacy.

people actually harrassed this guy for being in that film? ;-(

Amon (eman), Friday, 3 June 2005 04:37 (fifteen years ago) link

Sha Na Na!!!

Not that they're a classic band or anything - far from it - but their gold-lame schtick is almost a relief, placed in the middle of all this peace 'n' love.

Rev. Hoodoo (Rev. Hoodoo), Friday, 3 June 2005 06:15 (fifteen years ago) link

WAVY GRAVY PWNED

Tim Ellison (Tim Ellison), Friday, 3 June 2005 06:17 (fifteen years ago) link

four years pass...

the woodstock dvd screws up the split screens (when only one section is on it makes it fill the screen)

So, on the off chance that someone has bought the latest version. Does it still do this?

Ned Trifle II, Wednesday, 19 August 2009 13:33 (eleven years ago) link

when Sha Na Na come on its like punks somehow happened years too early; it's a total disconnect from everything else there. love them. it's a great movie, despite the baez.

Jamie_ATP, Wednesday, 19 August 2009 13:50 (eleven years ago) link

ten years pass...

I watched the American Experience Woodstock episode last night (which I didn't realize was American Experience-connected until it started). Worth seeing, even if you've seen the film more than once. The musical clips are comparatively minimal; it's about the four guys who engineered the show, the logistics, etc. The two highlights for me were both courtesy old people: when, after the food ran out, the local citizens of Bethel started gathering and hauling food over to the site (that's in the film, I think, but only briefly), and when Max Yasgur--whose farm has just been pretty much destroyed--addresses the crowd warmly and supportively.

clemenza, Saturday, 11 January 2020 04:16 (eight months ago) link


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