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362 of 367 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Summer of Love" revisited
This box set released by the Criterion Collection is one of the most impressive sets they've released to date. It contains the original "Monterey Pop" film plus three others "Jimi Plays at Monterey" "Shake! Otis at Monterey" and "Outtake Performances"

Disc one has the first film "Monterey Pop" which portrays the festival from construction to the festival's...
Published on October 25, 2004 by Ted

40 of 42 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars "Complete Monterey Pop" May Be a Fizzle for Some
For a now aging hippy, who was a junior in high school in 1967, it was very enjoyable watching and listening to the groups that performed at the Monterey Pop Festival. If you have ever viewed the abridged version of this film, titled simply The Monterey Pop Festival, you have already seen most of the true highlights of the festival. The "Complete" version purportedly...
Published on August 1, 2006 by Alan K. Wilson

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362 of 367 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Summer of Love" revisited, October 25, 2004
Ted "Ted" (Pennsylvania, USA) - See all my reviews
This box set released by the Criterion Collection is one of the most impressive sets they've released to date. It contains the original "Monterey Pop" film plus three others "Jimi Plays at Monterey" "Shake! Otis at Monterey" and "Outtake Performances"

Disc one has the first film "Monterey Pop" which portrays the festival from construction to the festival's end.

It contains performances of (in sequence): "Combination of the Two" by Big Brother and the Holding Company, "San Francisco" by Scott McKenzie, "Creeque Alley" & "California Dreamin'" by the Mamas and the Papas, "Rollin' and Tumblin'" by Canned Heat, "59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin' Groovy)" By Simon and Garfunkel, "Bajabula Bonke (Healing Song)" by Hugh Masekela, "High Flyin' Bird" and "Today" by Jefferson Airplane, "Ball and Chain" by Big Brother and the Holding Company, "Paint it Black" by The Animals, "My Generation" by The Who, "Section 43" by Country Joe and the Fish, "Shake" and "I've Been Loving you too Long" by Otis Redding, "Wild Thing" by Jimi Hendrix, "Got a Feelin'" by the Mamas and the Papas, and "Raga Bhimpalasi" by Ravi Shankar.

Disc two contains the films, "Jimi Plays at Monterey" and "Shake! Otis at Monterey"

The Jimi Hendrix film contains performances of: "Can You See Me?", "Purple Haze", Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band", Monterey", "Killing Floor", Foxy Lady", "Like a Rolling Stone", "Rock Me Baby", "Hey Joe", "The Wind Cries Mary" and "Wild Thing". At the end of the performance he sets his guitar on fire and smashes it.

The Otis Redding film contains performances of: "Shake", "Respect", "I've Been Loving You Too Long", "(I Can't Get No) Staisfaction", and "Try a Little Tenderness"

Disc 3 contains the "Outtake Performances" These are the artists and the songs played (In order): "Along Comes Mary" by The Association, "Homeward Bound" and "Sounds of Silence" by Simon and Garfunkel, "Not-So-Sweet Martha Lorraine" by Country Joe and the Fish, "(I Heard Her Say) Wake Me, Shake Me" by Al Kooper, "Driftin' Blues" by The Paul Butterfield Blues Band, "All I Ever Wanted to Do (Was Love You)" by Quicksilver Messenger Service, "Drinkin' Wine" by The Electric Flag, "Chimes of Freedom", "He Was a Friend of Mine", and "Hey Joe" by The Byrds, "Wedding Bell Blues" and "Poverty Train" by Laura Nyro, "Somebody to Love" by Jefferson Airplane, "Flute Thing" by The Blues Project, "Combination of the Two" by Big Brother and the Holding Company, "For What It's Worth" by Buffalo Springfield, "Substitute", Summertime Blues", and "A Quick One While He's Away" by The Who, "Straight Shooter", "Somebody Groovy", "San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair)", "I Call Your Name", "Monday, Monday", and "Dancing in the Street" by The Mamas and the Papas. Finally there is a performance by Tiny Tim of "King for a Day", "Laugh, Clown, Laugh", "May God Be With Our Boys Tonight", and "My What a Funny Little World This Is".

The first two discs also have special features.

Disc one has a theatrical trailer and radio ads, video interviews with D.A. Pennebaker and Lou Adler, audio interviews with John Phillips, Derek Taylor and others. There is also a facsimile of the scrapbook and audio commentary by Lou Adler and D.A. Pennebaker.

Disc two has the following:

For the Jimi Hendrix film there is audio commentary by Charles Shar Murray, a trailer and a video interview with Pete Townshend

The Otis film has an interview with Otis Redding's manager, Phil Walden and two audio commentarties both by Peter Guralnick.

There are none on Disc three.

There is also over 60 pages of essays, a list of performers and a lot of other stuff.

This is a must buy for people interested in the festival!
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454 of 474 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential but not complete. Where's Janis?, May 18, 2003
I begrudgingly give this DVD boxed set five stars because this is a fantastic, albeit incomplete, document of the most important rock event in history. Everyone who considers themselves to be a rock fan should own this set. Having said that, the filmmaker's idea of "complete" is questionable in terms of the long-awaited outtakes disc, especially when you consider that he devoted five, count 'em five, outtake songs to Tiny Tim, and only one (??!!!) to Janis Joplin, who was considered "the star" of the festival as stated by Mama Cass in her commentary included in the package. (Not to mention Big Brother guitarist James Gurley, who received equal praise at Monterey as did Janis.)
This sad state of affairs is beyond explanation. Why wasn't Big Brother and the Holding Company accorded their entire set instead of one token song, which is "Combination of the Two?" There is very little footage of the singer that exists at all, anywhere. Knowing that there is an entire set of her landmark performance stored somewhere in a vault is maddening.
The Grateful Dead are also missing in action. Sadly, the liner notes in the package proclaim them to be one of the outstanding acts of the festival. Even if there was scant little footage captured, it could have been included. I'd much rather watch them than suffer through five ditties of Tiny Tim in the green room. Despite the peace and love vibe, you can imagine yourself if you were there, slapping him upside the head for being an annoying idiot.
Laura Nyro, who supposedly bombed at Monterey, is given two outtake songs, but it's interesting to discover that she was quite captivating. (The festival review included in the booklet states that Nyro and the Byrds were the low point, which again makes one wonder why the filmmaker chose to highlight three Byrds songs on the outtakes disc, rather than BBHC/Janis.) The Mamas and the Papas are bestowed with their entire set on the outtakes disc; no surprise since they were the ones who founded the festival. In the commentary by John Phillips, he states his group turned in the worst performance of the festival. Not true; they were excellent, as highlighted on this disc.
Hats off to the Association, who proved that they were a progressive, musical force to be reckoned with. I would have reveled in being able to witness more than just one Association song ("Along Came Mary") in lieu of five, I must repeat, five pathetic Tiny Tim songs. URRGGGGH. And if you also own the Monterey Pop complete CD boxed set, you will know that the Electric Flag was introduced as the greatest band in the world, considered a top act at the time. Give me five of their songs featuring the great Michael Bloomfield instead of five of Tiny Tim's, pleeze.
I hate to keep being a cranky head, but another incredibly annoying addition is the "expert" commentary about the Jimi Hendrix performance. This guy, with his pedestrian music reviewers' pomposity, sets forth the lamest comments imaginable. (Such as: "And I might add that you have to be very confident in your masculinity to wear a pink feather boa.." or "nice flairs, Jimi." etc.. GROAN.)
Well, don't let my grumblings keep you from purchasing this set. You'll find yourself wondering why more wasn't included too, but the complete Jimi and Otis performances are worth the entire price, plus you have the original film, which was incredible, and some great, if incomplete outtakes, and tons of info and features to sink your teeth into. Plus the fantastic, candid shots of the many hip and beautiful people in attendance. Buy it.
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125 of 127 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Revelatory performances., January 7, 2007
The film restoration work looks and sounds magnificent. Eddie Kramer gets extra congratulations on the 5.1 audio mix. That said, the 3rd disc is mainly in stereo only.

Karen's review below is a bit harsh. If you actually listen to the main film's commentary, you will understand why more footage isn't available: Not every second of 3 days of performances were captured. Concert films did not exist as a genre at this time (see the annoyingly choppy 'Festival!' documenting Newport), so this was new territory and the point of the film was to make a document that gave an overall feel for the event and time. Pennebaker and his crew had to decide which songs to film, which seems to have been predetermined by Dylan's buddy Bob Neuwirth who was more familiar with the scene than the filmmaker. They would turn on a red light on stage to signal to start filming the next song. At some times, they didn't have a plan and the camera men would shoot at their discretion, so some performances may have been captured by only 1 camera and therefore considered not presentable. Also, film reels would end during performances and need to be changed (approx every 20 minutes), hence footage missing from two of Jimi's songs.

Regarding the lack of more outtake footage:

1. Your precious Janis and Big Brother's new manager Albert Grossman didn't allow them to be filmed the first day, but finally they were asked to play again the next day because of the crowd reaction and the desire to get something on film. The whole set could exist but I doubt it. Grossman and his need for control is probably to blame, and it's no coincidence that Woodstock's filmmakers were also refused to use her footage in the original release. She only appears now in the directors cut.

2. The Byrds set is extremely historic, and that is one that should have been included in whole if it exists.

3. The Who's set is only missing 'Pictures of Lily' not counting 'My Generation' which is in the proper film. It is on bootleg Who dvd's so why that wasn't included is inexplicable. I would have like to have seen all footage from each artist's set put together on the bonus disc including the songs included in whole or in part in the actual final film, so that it's all in one place. What we get is anything besides what made the final cut.

4. As far as Tiny Tim, yes his impromptu performances are annoying, but they are part of just that, impromptu candid backstage footage supplied as bonus, not part of the 2 hours of bonus footage. So, skip past it like I did and get over it.

5. Regarding the Grateful Dead, a small glimpse is seen at the beginning of the 'Jimi Plays Monterey' film, but the liner notes from the 4CD box set from 1992 tells us, that like Janis, the band and or management refused to allow any audio or visuals to be used. I assume they didn't like their performance, or wanted to control it like the rest of their own vault. The whole festival was for charity, as we also learn from the supplementary interviews, and the artists therefore had to sign waivers releasing the rights to their performances. My guess it the Dead refused to comply.

6.The real shame is that there is no footage of Lou Rawls' electrifying set, which would also show more of the diversity of genre's that were at the festival.

7. Charles Shaar Murray's commentary during the Hendrix film is actually quite insightful and entertaining. Yes, there are some funny comments about substances and clothing. He wrote a definitive biography of Jimi, and his commentary is well founded and gives context to why his perfomance at the festival was revolutionary.

That said, this is a definitive package, and a must own release for a serious rock collector's library.
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40 of 42 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars "Complete Monterey Pop" May Be a Fizzle for Some, August 1, 2006
For a now aging hippy, who was a junior in high school in 1967, it was very enjoyable watching and listening to the groups that performed at the Monterey Pop Festival. If you have ever viewed the abridged version of this film, titled simply The Monterey Pop Festival, you have already seen most of the true highlights of the festival. The "Complete" version purportedly shows every group that appeared during the three day festival, although many groups are shown only performing one song. This "Complete" version is really meant for the purists out there who are looking to add to their rock and roll archives. The cinematography of this film is just slightly above the amateur level. I suspect that John Phillips, and the others involved in the production of this film were, shall we say, not completely in touch with reality at the time they were filming. Fortunately, the audio on the DVD is of considerably higher quality than the video. So if your looking for a true microcosm of the rock and roll scene during the late '60s, then this video is for you, that is unless you're not willing to shell out the nearly $70 purchase price. Looking back, it's truly unfortunate that so much of the history of music from those days went undocumented.
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33 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must-see; must-hear; must-have, November 22, 2002
By A Customer
Run, don't walk, to pick up this DVD set. In addition to a crisp rendition of the original classic movie (with choice of audio options including 2.0, 5.1, DTS and original), and a second disk of Otis Redding & Jimi Hendrix, the addition of never-before-released performances on the "Outtakes" disk 3 make this release even better than the original.
Revel in the innocence of 1967.
Feel the shiver down your spine as you hear (every nuance of) Janis Joplin delivering "Ball & Chain" to the appreciative audience (including a stunned Mama Cass Elliot).
"Outtakes" doesn't do disk 3 justice - these are mostly concert-quality renditions, some with remixed 5.1 audio: Simon & Garfunkel (Sounds of Silence); Jefferson Airplane (Don't you need somebody to love); Scott McKenzie (San Francisco); Buffalo Springfield (w/o Neil Young, For what it's worth); another Janis Joplin, to name but a few.
This set was worth the wait.
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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A HISTORICAL EVENT DOCUMENTED FOR POSTERITY, November 19, 2002
David B. Bennett "Rock The Book Man" (The Land of Enchantment, New Mexico, USA) - See all my reviews
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The Summer of Love, 1967, a time that today seems as remote as the Middle Ages. A time when people cared about life, the war in Vietnam; a time when people wore beads and flowers in their hair: a time when LSD and marijuana were abundantly available; a simpler time when people lived for the music. And oh what music! The Byrds, Canned Heat, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Otis Redding and the Mamas and the Papas. And did I mention JIMI HENDRIX? This Criterion DVD has all of the bands that made music relavent, and it contains so much more than the original movie that I have to recommend this set to everyone. Of course, just because it is a Criterion DVD, you know from the beginning that the picture and sound are as good as it gets, and you wont be disappointed. Put this disc on, turn up the volume, and get back to the sixties and enjoy the music and bands that made a difference. And did I mention JIMI HENDRIX? That's right, an entire disc devoted to HENDRIX, his entire performance, caught on film and digitally remastered by Jimi's own engineer, Eddie Kramer. This HENDRIX concert alone makes the set worth the money. This material has been circulated for years as a bootleg on vinyl (does anybody still remeber vinyl?) and CD, but here you get Jimi's searing performance at Monterey in beautiful technocolor and surround sound. Simply put, this DVD set is a must have for everyone that loves rock and roll, and there should be a law that every library in America should have a copy of this available to the public, and it should be mandatory viewing for all high school students.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars True Social Time Capsule, July 21, 2004
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If, through some miracle, I was given a choice of being able to attend Monterey or Woodstock, Monterey would win hands down. Musically, Monterey had so much more variety to offer without any of the overt "coolness" and the pretentious attitude the performers and announcers had at Woodstock. Where Woodstock musically purposely pushed the counter-culture, Monterey just "let it all hang out," (as was the term in '67). Pop artists freely and without care mingled with the new underground. Where else could you find Peter Tork of the Monkees introduce the Buffalo Springfield? Monterey was innocent - the musicians, the announcers, and the patrons - and there was no "smile for the camera" smugness that Woodstock seemed to convey.

Plenty of fresh new music abounded for an audience that responded with child-like glee (except for the wide-eyed young girl who witnessed Jimi Hendrix for the first time! Don't you just love her expression?).

As a previous reviewer wrote (and I will expand on), there were no tye-dyed shirts or guys with hair down to the middle of their backs in the audience. That style was 1969 and into the 1970's. In fact, most guys wore their hair not much longer than the Beatles did in 1964 - collar length with the ears showing. And, for those who wore glasses, the horn-rimmed style was still the most common and not the John Lennon type from the Sgt. Pepper album. Still a few years to go before that caught on.

Monterey is truly a time capsule of 1967. This magnificent DVD box set has more social history of the times than any musical documentary I have seen. Do you want to know the way it really was in the Summer of Love? Watch the Monterey Pop Festival box set.

Because, that IS the way it really was.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Important document of the summer of love, August 26, 2005
I remember seeing this movie for the first time watching it on pbs (channel 13 in ny) in the early 80s and being blown away by it. Sure some of the groups were not entirely to my teenage rock obsessed mind, the Mamas and the Papas for example. But they were part of the time. Thats what this movie really captures, a moment in time. Just two years later the world would look and sound quite different. So Monterey Pop is really a sampler of Rock, Soul and Folk from the time. Btw, the closing of the film with Ravi Shankar long albeit edited performance is one of my favorite parts. (Ravi Shankar's complete set is available on cd btw and well worth searching out.)

Ok, now onto this set. The first disk has the original movie remastered with the best sound its ever had. Given the equipment they used to originally film this the work thats been done mastering it for this set deserves real praise. Sure its still grainy, and there's still hair in the gate for some shots.

(Given that these were inexperienced filmmakers working with D.A. Pennebaker this is exusable, they got the footage, thats what really counts. In this day and age when we can document almost every aspect of every event I thik we take the effort needed back them too much for granted.)

The commentary by D.A. Pennebaker and Lou Adler, unlike a lot of commentary on dvds these days, really gives you an idea of what was being done here. Lou Adler talking about putting the festival together and Pennebaker about the problems of filming. A suppliment with the program for the festival and another suppiment with photographer Elaine Mayes's photographs with commentary by her on them. Audio interviews with several performers rounds out the first disk.

The second disk contains footage of the performances of Otis Redding and Jimi Hendrix in full.. or at least as full as we'll get.

Jimi's performance is wonderful stuff. Extras include some pretentious commentary and a still bitter Pete Townsend talking about deciding who went on first. Jimi's film itself also includes some footage of the Experience performing in England earlier the same year. The performance from the festival is the real meal here though. Jimi is on, the audience is appreciative and somewhat overwelmed by hearing him for probably the first time. Jimi pulls out all his stage tricks here, soling behind his head, behind his back, playing one handed, playing with his teeth etc.... Even better there's some different camera footage of the closing performance of wild thing mixed in with whats in the main movie.

Otis's film is incredible as well with the MGs and Mar-Keys backing him up. Again here is a performer in love with what he's doing and the crowd in love with him. With Otis dying within six months or so of this performance, having it and having it being so very very good makes it a treasure. Some highlights: Otis doing the song that a "little girl" took from him anyway, Otis singing can't get no satisfaction and "this is a song I want to dedicate to all the mini skirts". The list could go on and on. Extras here are informative commentary on Otis's performance and unfortunatly short career. Especially poignant is an interview with Phil Walden, Otis's manager.

Once again the footage looks beautiful on both films and the soundtracks here sounds even better than the main film to me.

Third disk, is a real treat for those wanting more performances filmed but not in the film. For my money the Who's performance of A Quick One is the real gem of the disk. Although The Electric Flag don't fail either. The Association's game attempt to do Along Came Mary, while not quite successful, is still interesting.

I won't go into more details here but I do want to address a problem I have with the some of the other reviewers on this. Some seem to hold D.A. Pennebaker in contempt for not including film of other whole performances but don't seem to understand that in most cases it doesn't exist. If they had listened to the commentary and read the booklet that came with the disks they would have understood that for most acts only a song or two for each group was planned to be filmed to conserve film. Anything else that got filmed is a bonus. That Jimi and Otis's whole sets or most of their sets, were filmed is luck. Sometimes a cameraman would film or not film a performance by mistake. That seems to be the case with Laura Nyro's Wedding Day. Albert Grossman didn't even want them to film Janis at first and only relented after the first performance went over so well. There is no film of the rest because of that. (Once again reading here is the key to understanding. Its right on the menu screen for the Holding company performances on this disc, as well as elsewere as I've already said.) The Grateful Dead didn't play a ten minute song that was too long to put in the film as one reviewer says but instead Pennebaker says the cameras ran out at ten minutes into their first song. (The dead could and would play long, especially at this time. Deadbase list three songs for this set: Viola Lee Blues, Cold Rain, and Alligator.) Missing footage from some of the performances here are filled in with crowd footage but a large block like that would most likely not work with this technique. Most of what was completely filmed is on this set. The Tiny Tim footage is not taking the place of better footage, its just part of what was filmed. He was very much part of the world of '67 and although not serious I'd rather he fill up space than just not have something filling the disk at all. For those wanting more of the performers there is a cd set with more complete sets.

The packaging includes a booklet with informative essays, histories and commentary.

Ok with that over with, just to recap. Great film, some great performances and some that are simply worth it for the historical value, Other reviewers who complain about missing performances are just misinformed....and/or possibly were temporarily illiterate when watching the disks, I don't know. Anyway, Totally worth the price.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Put some flowers in your progressive scan ..., November 25, 2002
Monterey the rock festival still stands in the shadows of the bigger and gaudier Woodstock, but "Monterey Pop" the film has no rival as a time capsule of late-'60s rock. It's smarter, hipper and more musical than other rock films of the era. Audio and video on this carefully crafted three-DVD set easily pass the acid test. Restoration efforts (detailed in the set's splendid booklet and in the extras) yielded a 5.1 sound that's updated yet true to the time -- check out some of the old-style stereo separation and the AM radio punch of the percussion. Rear channels give off stadium ambiance, instrument echoes and audience cheers, making for an open, you-are-there vibe. In contrast, the audio on Criterion's 1988 laserdisc sounds like a decent unidimensional bootleg. Likewise, the video taken from the original 16mm negatives looks flower-child fresh, with almost none of the deterioration that plagued the previous video. Significant color correction is evident, and grain has been banished. (Audio and video on the outtakes have significantly rougher edges, including a lot of hair on the lenses.)
"Monterey Pop" captured the hippie music scene at a time closer to the Newport of Dylan than the chaos of the big Eastern rock fests. Many acts were folkies making the transition to rock, accomplished performers right at home on Monterey's small, traditional stage. The mixed bag of performers included hitmakers the Mamas and the Papas, Simon and Garfunkel, Jefferson Airplane, Canned Heat, the Who and Buffalo Springfield.
Several of the era's biggest acts -- notably the Beatles and Stones -- failed to make the scene in Northern California, leaving the glory to a pair of mostly unknown performers: Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix. The DVD's revved-up audio and video powerfully echo the shock of new from Joplin's "Ball and Chain" and Hendrix's "Wild Thing."
Time has been kind to many of Pennebaker's creative decisions. The inclusion of international acts Hugh Masekela and Ravi Shankar gives the film a contemporary musical tone. Otis Redding makes the cut, not Lou Rawls. Editing avoids the frantic cuts of rock cliché, making for a nice smooth trip back.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The ultimate edition of the greatest concert film ever made, May 1, 2004
Michael Topper (Pacific Palisades, California United States) - See all my reviews
Mere words cannot describe the transcendental viewing experience that is "Monterey Pop", but I'll do my best to try here. Imagine a film of many of the best rock and pop acts of the 1960s performing at or near their peak smack in the middle of 1967's fabled Summer Of Love. Now imagine this concert expertly and emotionally filmed by master documentarian DA Pennebaker, and beautifully remastered 35 years later with crystal-clear sound and video. Now imagine every available surviving outtake from the original '68 film--including the complete Jimi Hendrix and Otis Redding performances (both briefly issued on VHS in the 80s), plus two more hours featuring many acts not featured in the original film--added to the set, most of which is as good or even better than what made the final cut.
"Monterey Pop" should be required viewing--far more than "Woodstock", that's for sure--for anyone interested in what the 60s was really all about. It is more than just an incredible rock festival, the first and still the best of its kind. It is a historical document of the hippie era at its euphoric peak. DA Pennebaker truly earned his credentials here as his camera focuses with incredible grace and sensitivity on each face, be it from audience member or performer. There is one shot during Ravi Shankar's performance where his camera walks down a lengthy aisle and the quasi-religious looks and gypsy-like fashions on the dozens of people he meets along the way is simply breathtaking. That singular mood--which captures a long-lost communal paradise of gentle smiles and laughter, incredibly colorful clothing and painted faces, mind-blowing psychedelic light shows, gods-eye weaves, beads, flowers and of course Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jefferson Airplane, The Who, Otis Redding, Country Joe & The Fish, Simon And Garfunkel and many more giving performances more akin to spiritual visions than entertainment--will hypnotize and delight the viewer from beginning to end, and even though there are four hours of entertainment here you will be left wanting more (and usually wishing for a time machine).

With the audience almost as dazzling a sight as the performers, and the light show competing with and complementing the music for one's attention, the film feels like one singular artistic statement which came together like magic, fuelled by the acid-soaked climate of the time. Much interesting historical info is given in the booklet and audio commentaries, although the
real highlight of this re-release are the two extra DVDs featuring all the available outtake footage. Jimi Hendrix and Otis Redding, of course, gave two of the greatest performances of all time at Monterey; nothing need be said of Hendrix's now-iconic US breakthrough, which upped the ante on The Who's stunning set. Much more of The Who's set makes the outtakes disc as well, along with many artists unfortunately cut out of the original film such as The Byrds, Laura Nyro, The Electric Flag, The Blues Project and Buffalo Springfield. The Blues Project give a particularly fine, unexpected performance featuring an inspired flute solo. Other highlights include Big Brother doing "Combination Of The Two" (which crackles with excitement), Simon And Garfunkel dishing out a mesmerizing "Sound Of Silence", Country Joe & The Fish rocking on "Martha Lorraine" (with more classic audience shots), Jefferson Airplane storming their way through "Somebody To Love" (which should have made the official film over "High Flying Bird"), Laura Nyro's dramatic rendition of "Poverty Train", and Crosby and Stills together on stage for the first time while the Springfield do "For What It's Worth".
Films like this need to be preserved and cherished as time capsules of a bygone era that becomes more and more distorted through hazy recollection and warped media images over the years (for starters, not a *single* person in "Monterey Pop" can be seen wearing a tie-dye shirt!). It is my favorite concert film and one of the most enjoyable and even spiritual films I have ever seen, which at times brings a tear to the eye. If you've already seen the original film, the DVD will be "like Easter and Christmas and New Years and your birthday all in one"; if you haven't, and particularly if you are of today's under-21 generation for who the 60s are a distant grandparents' memory, "Monterey Pop" may change your life.
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The Complete Monterey Pop Festival (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]
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