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American Experience: Woodstock: Three Days that Defined a Generation DVD
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Celebrate the 50th anniversary of the concert that became a touchstone for a generation. This film brings the three-day concert to life through the voices of those who were present at what became the defining moment of the counterculture revolution.
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Most of the new footage had no sound but the producers did an amazing job of syncing up the sounds of what was happening on stage with amazing precision.
The only downside — there is a lot of good commentary from the original producers and artists but it would have been nice to see them talking, rather than their voices being dubbed in over the footage. They would just put the name of whoever was talking up very briefly and if you happened to miss it, you had no idea who was actually talking. The footage was so incredible that I felt it would have been better had they completely cut away from the footage to show the person talking rather than both going on at the same time.
It was a nice touch hearing from normal people who were there and what their experience was.
Lots of interesting stuff in this DVD. I also liked hearing some of the other potential people that were asked to play. I am still confused though because I have read Michael Lang‘s book and he stated he never extended an invitation to the Beatles or The Rolling Stones because they would have dominated the bill and he felt that was not what Woodstock was about. However, in this documentary, they state the Rolling Stones and the Beatles were extended invites. In the book, Michael Lang said he did try to get John Lennon but at that time his visa was not being granted by the government due to his political stance and the state of the nation. I guess they felt allowing him in the country would further ramp up the counterculture.
Highly recommend this DVD
There were some negative aspects to the weekend like a young man killed after being accidentally run over by a tractor. Another fatality from a drug overdose, and at least one fist fight that is addressed by Wavy Gravy recorded for posterity and released on the 38 disc box set.
That being said, when you consider everything that went down that weekend, it was remarkably positive and peaceful. This film is a welcomed reminder that humanity is capable of sharing space under extreme circumstances and conditions peacefully, through cooperation and and a positive mindset.
This film has some excellent footage that I’ve never seen before and some of the remembrances by the regular people who were there are quite moving. Having read many books and seen several documentaries on Woodstock, I was surprised at some of the things I learned for the first time here. I knew about the Hog Farm, but never knew just how important they were to the success of the festival. Frankly I’m not sure it would have been the same without them.
If like me, you’re fascinated with Woodstock from a historical perspective then you should definitely check this film out. I feel it’s perhaps the best one I’ve ever seen. Not to mention the excellent music that was performed there. Highly recommended.
There is a "still" photo about one hour into the film, when a young, buck-naked man sits of a raft in one of the ponds, his leg outstretched, and his hand raised in a friendly wave. I met this guy, Art, on Long Beach Island in New Jersey, about a week after Woodstock. He was proudly showing a copy of Time Magazine, with the photo of himself. I have often wondered about him....
Anyway, I digress....it's a wonderful film and as one reviewer already mentioned, the quality is surprisingly good after a half of a century. It's worth having...it captures the time, the era, the feelings...
A truly historic time very well recorded for all of us to share.
I might add that there was no violence, stealing, guns, hate , fighting....