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Glastonbury

4.0 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Only one music festival of the 1960s has survived over the last three decades - Glastonbury. The contrast between the unchanging spirit which remains at the heart of the Glastonbury festival and the overwhelming difference in the way we now live our lives, forms the central dynamic of this film. Fuelled by the staggering range of music performances at Glastonbury over the years, this movie invites the audience to submerge themselves in the spirit, chracters and over-whelming sensory experiences of the Festival as it travels like a strange spaceship through the extraordinary ch-ch-changes of the last three decades.

Product Details

  • Actors: Coldplay, Radiohead, Oasis, Paul McCartney, David Bowie
  • Directors: Julien Temple
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Rated:
    Unrated
    Not Rated
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002UD7E6I
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #37,780 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Richard A. Hare on July 29, 2007
The story of how a counter-culture free festival became a British institution - for American viewers, try to imagine what would happen if Burning Man became as big as the Superbowl - in recent years, the festival has been attended by over 300,000 people, and is broadcast on British TV throughout the weedend.

Many festivals have come and gone as musical tastes have changed and eras have passed - 60s peace, love and happiness, 70s punk nihilism, etc. Against this Glastonbury has perservered for over 20 years, and this documentary does a great job of explaining why.

Glastonbury is the British equivalent of Burning Man, but with commercial music acts thrown into the mix - it shuns commerciality, raises money for good causes, and brings together a diverse mixture of contemporary arts.

The documentary itself is a fantastic mix of live performances, archive footage and interviews. It sketches out the timeline of the festival, which in itself is a reflection of the changes in British society over the last 30 years - social decay in the 70s, the rejection of thatcherism in the 80s, and so on.

The interviews are dominated by Michael Eavis, the festival founder (it takes place on his dairy farm) - an extemely interesting man. This documentary is partly the telling of his own life story - how a Methodist farmer in rural England with an interest in music became a festival promoter, and along the way the became a friend to hippies, new-age travellers, the dance scene, the campaign against nuclear weapons, the green movement, left-wing politics, etc. The film captures his concern for the instituion and its values.
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With well over a hundred thousand attendees per year, The Glastonbury Festival of Contemporary Performing Arts is a famed counterculture musical event held in the English countryside not far from where the mystical Neolithic monument, Stonehenge, is located. Comparisons to Woodstock are clearly inevitable, but whereas Woodstock was basically a one-time thing, The Glastonbury Festival has been an annual event dating all the way back to 1970. Some of the styles and attitudes may have changed over the years, but the spirit of free love, political consciousness-raising, New Age mysticism and sheer unadulterated rebellion for which the festival is famous still remains.

Julien Temple, the director of the documentary entitled simply, "Glastonbury," brings an almost patchwork quality to her film, indiscriminately splicing together grainy footage from the earlier festivals with far clearer images from the much more recent past. She doesn't identify which year any particular sequence is from, so one minute we'll be watching hippies and flower-children "doin' their thing" in the meadows and the mud, followed the next by spike-haired punk-rockers head-banging their way into mind-altered oblivion.

The glue holding this excessively long, frequently repetitious and somewhat unwieldy film together is Michael Eavis, the idealistic yet deeply pragmatic festival organizer whose running commentary illuminates the history behind Glastonbury that he himself lived through and indeed helped to create. He discusses the changes he's seen in the participants over the years, acknowledges some of the more crassly commercial aspects of the event, and recounts a few of the less savory moments that have come close to spelling the end for the festival itself.
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It is simply a pleasure to feel a sun on a naked bum stretching on a green grass, surrounded by gals, pals and their kids among, sharing the same enjoyment while awaiting a next performance of rock stars on a world famous scene of the Glastonbury Festival.

It is really a very liveable, lovable and loudly-musical doco-movie not to miss.
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This was an entertaining documentary full of music & mayhem - and a look back into how the Glastonbury Festival got started. My reason for watching it was that I happen to love the little town of Glastonbury - which really doesn't appear in the film, since the festival takes place some miles away. I have to say, "thankfully" the Glastonbury Music Festival isn't right inside the charming and historic town it is named after.
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I knew this wasn't just a concert film. I knew there would be a lot to learn. And I did in fact learn quite a lot. I loved seeing Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds and The White Stripes.
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really good film and music
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