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HollywoodGolightly

"Woodstock" (1970)

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Although technically it's more of a documentary than a musical, I suppose there are many people who would put Woodstock in the "Musicals" category if they were categorizing everything in their home library.

 

And it's not hard to see why, being as this remains quite possibly the most famous concert of all time, and it takes a documentary that is almost 4 hours long just to give the viewers some idea of what it was like to be there during those 3 days that made history.

 

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If you're reading this, chances are you already know more about the Woodstock festival than I do, and you probably don't need me to tell you all of the performers who are in the film. I'll just say that my favorites of the performances that were included in finished version include Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Jefferson Airplane, and Santana.

 

Woodstock was recently reissued on DVD and BD and I think either version does a very good job of attempting to preserve the movie's unique multiple aspect ratio and split-screens, which offer a rich texture as the filmmakers capture everything from the performances on the stage to the day-to-day conversations that took place in the festival, and also the reactions from those who lived in the area and whose lives were briefly and memorably disrupted by the 3-day concert.

 

There is so much to see and hear that the movie's 3-hour-and-43 minute running time doesn't feel long at all; the biggest fans of the musicians who performed at the festival might even wind up wishing there was an even longer cut of the documentary that included more of the performances.

 

It is nothing if not fascinating to see how much idealism there was among many of the young people who were there and who were obviously deeply impacted by the experience, which attracted so many people that it became impossible to keep it a "fenced" concert.

 

Woodstock even got some lovin' from the Academy, receiving the Oscar for Best Documentary Feature. Also nominated was editor Thelma Schoonmaker, who like Martin Scorsese worked on the editing of this project.

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I haven't seen Gimme Shelter yet, but I'd like to. I did watch Shine a Light and enjoyed it a lot, too.

 

Part of the appeal of Woodstock for me was that I'd never seen it and I always wanted to learn more about that incredible festival.

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Next week will mark the 40th anniversary of the Woodstock festival. If you haven't had a chance, try catching this movie on DVD or blu-ray. It's an experience you won't soon forget.

 

The movie will also be receiving a limited re-release in several cities - check your local listings!

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I haven't seen Gimme Shelter yet, but I'd like to. I did watch Shine a Light and enjoyed it a lot, too.

 

Part of the appeal of Woodstock for me was that I'd never seen it and I always wanted to learn more about that incredible festival.

 

 

Gimme Shelter is an excellent movie, because it clearly gives a much more accurate portrayal of what really and truly went on at many, if not most of those rock concerts during that period.  Woodstock, on the other hand,  from what I've heard/read, wasn't all that the movie cracks it up to be, because, in addition to the fact that there were a lot of bad drug trips at Woodstock of 1969, there were a number of rapes (which went unreported, because back then, people didn't report rapes), other violence, plus at least 3 people died:  One kid got run over by a tractor truck while sleeping in a sleeping bag to get out of the rain, one guy died of a heroin overdose, and another person died of a ruptured appendix.  Another person was seriously injured due to falling off of a scaffold.

 

When Woodstock was made into a movie, all of the above-mentioned stuff was deliberately cut out to make it seem more gentle than it really was.

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Warning: "Gimme Shelter" is not a feelgood film, although the Stones and Airplane are in top form.

 

No, it isn't.  Gimme Shelter is a good interesting movie, because it presents a much more accurate, rounded-out portrayal of what really and truly went on at a lot of rock concerts, at that time.

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If you are going to go into that realm, "Gimme Shelter" ( the Stones at Altamont) is actually a better film. Devastating.

 

 

I wholeheartedly agree, DownGoesFrazier.  "Gimme Shelter" was a much darker, more devastating film than "Woodstock", but that's probably why I found it more appealing.  "Gimme Shelter" is a much more honest film than Woodstock, to boot.

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If you are going to go into that realm, "Gimme Shelter" ( the Stones at Altamont) is actually a better film. Devastating.

 

Gimme Shelter is a much more interesting film as well.  It's devastating, but necessary, if one gets the drift.

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