Film Preview: Taking Woodstock

By on Tuesday, 25th August 2009 at 4:00 pm

Woodstock (poster)Regardless of your music tastes, whatever you think is cool or wrong with music today, I think we can all safely say that Woodstock festival was one of those seminal events that changed culture and the music industry a lot more than people expected at the time. Now Ang Lee, the guy who directed Brokeback Mountain and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon has directed “Taking Woodstock“, a film that tells the story behind the festival, staring Demetri Martin and Emile Hirsch which is out in November.

The three day event in August 1969 featured so many acts that we have been huge influences on many of todays biggest acts: Grateful Dead, Janis Joplin, The Who, Jefferson Airplane, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young and Jimi Hendrix all played sets that for many defined a generation. Whilst some in the local communities weren’t huge fans of the 500,000 people descending on Bethel, New York, the event is seen as a roaring success by many in the music biz.

The film is set in 1969, and Elliot Tiber, a down-on-his-luck interior designer in Greenwich Village, New York, has to move back upstate to help his parents run their dilapidated Catskills motel, the El Monaco. The bank is about to foreclose; his father wants to burn the place down, but hasn’t paid the insurance; and Elliot is still figuring how to come out to his parents. When Elliot hears that a neighboring town has pulled the permit on a hippie music festival, he calls the producers, thinking he could drum up some much needed business for the motel. Three weeks later, half a million people are on their way to his neighbor’s farm in White Lake, NY, and Elliot finds himself swept up in a generation-defining experience that would change his life, and American culture, forever.

The film is out on November 13th in the UK, and next weekend in the USA – yes, it seems ages away, but to me it looks set to be one of my favourite films of the autumn. Watch the trailer below:


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One Response

4:42 pm
25th August 2009

I am really excited about this, saw the trailer before “Julie and Julia” at the cinema and this looks really good. not really what I expected Ang Lee to direct, but he has surprised me in the past…and Liev Schreiber is dressed – again! – as a transvestite (guess he must like dressing up in womens’ clothes 😉

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