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Woodstock

by

Roger Davidson

Woodstock
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If you really want to experience the 60's, here is the pinnacle of that era. Showing three days of peace, love, and especially music, it is one of the best documentary films ever made. We watch as millions of people gather to see some of their favorite musical artists, while trying to survive overcrowding, a rain storm and an extremely muddy field. We also take a look at the townspeople and there reaction to all of this, as they talk of the war in Vietnam, the festival going on around them and their opinions on the whole counterculture.

The highlights are, of course, the music. All the artists are great. Richie Havens bellowing out "Freedom", while we find out (thanks to the camera) that he has no upper teeth. The Who giving a smashing excerpt from the rock opera Tommy. Joe Cocker wheezing his rendition of the Beatles "With a Little Help from my Friends". Country Joe Macdonald playing his "I-feel-like-I'm-fixing-to-die-Rag" while a bouncing ball flashes on the screen. And finally, the climax, with Jimi Hendrix's beautiful, electric guitar rendition of "The Star-Spangled Banner", the only good version of a song that is truly bad.

The nice thing about this film is that it shows that one million people can get together and not cause riots. Scenes of children, police officers, bikers, army helicopters sending down blankets and supplies, the musicians and even a Port-O-San man show how they are all Woodstock People. I think that the recent Woodstock was just a block party compared to this touching festival. It's too bad that you can't go back to the garden.

My Rating = Four Stars


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