Monday, May 17, 2010

Taking Woodstock Review

Director: Ang Lee Screenplay: James Schamus, based on the memoir Taking Woodstock: A True Story of a Riot, a Concert, and a Life by Elliot Tiber and Tom Monte Cast: Demetri Martin, Henry Goodman, Imelda Staunton, Eugene Levy Time: 121min Age Restriction: 16NLD


Summary Review:
Taking Woodstock is a psychedelic behind-the-scenes look at the lives of the people behind the first Woodstock event that, instead of making you wish you had been there, makes you believe that you were.

Elliot Tiber (Demetri Martin) comes home to his immigrant parents' dilapidated motel in White Lake, Bethel, New York, to once again rescue them from bank repossession. They take in a hippie theatre troupe called The Earthlight Players and give them residence in their barn, but the troupe can hardly pay them.

Elliot decides to hold his annual small music festival and when he hears that the Woodstock Festival organisers are facing opposition against the festival's originally-planned location, he invites them to hold it in White Lake.

Little does he know that this will turn out to be one of the largest and most historic music festivals of all time.

Don't expect to see performances (real or re-enacted) by any of the great musicians who made the original Woodstock such a concert coup, like Janis Joplin or Jimi Hendrix. Taking Woodstock is about the people behind the scenes who made it happen and how this historical event changed their lives and relationships.

The sudden influx of thousands of strangers places the Tiber family conflicts under a microscope and dirty laundry is aired by all. Insecurities are dismissed and friendships are formed, all at a groovy, mellowed pace.

I totally lost my innocence watching Taking Woodstock. I have never seen so much nudity in my life! The thing is, it didn't come across as dirty nudity, because it seemed so natural and unquestionable, which just goes to show how excellent Taking Woodstock is at portraying the atmosphere and feeling of the '60s.

Ang Lee is one of my favourite directors, one who can make brilliant films in any genre. He again excels in Taking Woodstock, using many of the most popular filming techniques of the '60s (combined with the latest technology, of course) to produce a creative and psychedelically authentic movie that easily transports one back in time and provides an unforgettable Woodstock memory of one's own.

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