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Chris Knipp 31 August Building a sweet coming-of-age comedy around a major American cultural event of the Sixties, 'Taking Woodstock' is lodged on the periphery of the legendary half-million-strong August "peace and love" rock concert held on Max Yasgur's acre dairy farm near the hamlet of White Lake, in the town of Bethel, New York. While director Ang Lee gives perhaps the most vivid sense on film yet of what it might have been like to witness the event unfolding as a "townee," he approaches it crab-wise, getting inside it by hovering on the outskirts. In a recent interview with Charlie Rose, Quentin Tarantino remarked at how hackneyed biopics are. He suggested the best way to depict the life of Elvis would be to make a movie about one day in the life -- say, the one when The King walked into Sun Records the first time. Lee takes a similar approach to the enormous muddy happening of August this film is a 40th-anniversary celebration.
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Anyone who has seen Michael Wadleigh's remarkable Woodstock documentary will be amazed by Lee's re-creation of the milieu.
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Others involved in the festival have disputed a few of Woodatock Tiber's claims. There is a truly remarkable scene, wpodstock the famous ten minute tracking shot of a long traffic jam in Godard's Weekend : Elliot rides on the wlodstock of a policeman's motorcycle through the crowds and backed up traffic in a shot that lasts almost two minutes in one long, unbroken, camera take.
Taking Woodstock is not a coming out film; in fact it fits the dream of Vito Russo who wrote in The Celluloid Closet that he longed for the day when movie characters could just be gay without it being the thrust of the plot. But the 60s came to an end and Lee also addresses this at the conclusion of Taking Woodstock.
Vilma will also later help Elliot's parents to chill out with a woldstock hash brownies. But 'Taking Woodstock' partly trumps that real footage by depicting how the happening built like an invasion, focusing on some of the locals and the promoters and a couple of the acid he but never even focusing on the stage at all.
Was this review helpful? Taking Woodstock had a hard time finding its audience. Once again, it's "like ants making thunder.
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Let the author look wokdstock at it with rose colored glasses if he wishes. Yeah, "you had to be there," but as hackneyed as the Trip trope is, this is a good one: in its details as in its overall approach, 'Taking Woodstock' often succeeds because it doesn't try too hard and is cozy, offhand, and humorous. He is relieved that his father is gone.
The town is in an uproar and prepares for an invasion of hippies as if it was the first of the Apocalypse. But, aside from a few glimpses into small town xenophobia, this is a film about dreams and an era when we thought we could change the world.
It's corny, but it happened. They play a Judy Garland record and talk about her recent death.
During his first foray into the forest, he drops acid with a young man and woman and enjoys threeway sex in their psychedelic van. We aren't treated to a sexual interlude between them but Paul is seen later sleeping in Elliot's bed. Perhaps there were problems with getting rights to the music. The meadow behind the motel turns out to be a swamp but down the road is this farm owned by a certain Max Yasgur Based on the memoir by Elliot Tiber, it tells the story woodstoco the young gay man responsible for bringing the Woodstock Festival to Bethel, New York in Lee takes a similar approach to the enormous muddy happening of August this film is a 40th-anniversary celebration.
After all it's been thoroughly covered by documentary filmmakers, and most of the acts were thoroughly filmed and recorded.
Viewers who woostock unaware of Elliot's sexuality at the onset will learn this gradually. Woodstock didn't really happen on the stage but in the mud and vans and tents, and Lee shows it that way. Although the film version downplays Tiber's queer identity, his sexuality still remains a key ingredient in the make up of Lee's large canvas.
We see the two men together later and then, when Elliot finds himself in the middle of a hippie dance, Paul reappears and kisses our stunned hero to the cheers of the frolicking flower children. Schreiber is wonderful in the part. One of the most unique characters is Vilma, played by Liev Schreiber. Then again, there is an ugly moment when someone who was opposed to the concert painted "Burn Faggot Jews" on the side of Eliot's family's motel. The motorcycle cop comes to do crowd control and ends wooddstock wearing a flower and giving rides.
Taking woodstock () - taking woodstock () - user reviews - imdb
The Sixties aren't about wooxstock or style, but about getting down, smashing barriers, breaking free -- way-stations of the romantic experience and milestones in any coming-of-age. If you look at the real people -- Michael Lang, for instance -- they were rougher and sexier than anybody in this movie.
They hear the music from far away and the young man, holding Elliot in his arms, likens it to "ants making thunder. Though Lee's young protagonist, Elliot Teichberg Demetri Martina gay Jewish every-youth and the dutiful son of an impoverished middle-aged couple whose decrepit motel has useless pretensions to being a Catskills resort, is depicted as making it all happen by, as head of the minuscule township's Chamber of Commerce, linking up charismatic, bushy-haired young promoter Michael Lang Jonathan Groff with enterprising dairyman Max Yasgur Eugene LevyEllie remains a peripheral figure of the concert, aoodstock even the witness of any of the 32 acts performed on stage.
Taking woodstock: a true story of a riot, a concert, and a life by elliot tiber
Broaching such large events even peripherally, Lee and his writers, James Schamus, Elliot Tiber author of the source memoir and Tom Monte, arguably do owe us a bit more of the sex, the bad trips, and the music itself -- which can't be left outside the story of a great concert, whether its protagonist got to the stage or not. And there are plenty of others, notably the VW Guy Paul Dano and VW Girl Kelli Garnerwho start Ellie on a wonderful acid trip in their van, becoming his guides on an introductory tour of psychedelics.
He lifts his dress to expose a gun strapped to his thigh and offers to help with security at the motel. Aside from the long blonde wig and the dress, there is nothing feminine about him and he simply plays the part without resorting to any stereotypes.
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He suggested the best way to depict the life of Elvis would be to make a movie about one day in the life -- say, the one when The King walked into Sun Records the first time. Gay men and women have made numerous contributions to history and it's interesting to discover that one of our own is partially responsible for the most iconic concert of the 20th Century.
And we all know, as documented in Gimme Shelter, what happened when The Stones played at Altamont, don't we? There is a charming scene in which he connects with a young workman named Paul Darren Pettie who is fixing the motel's stereo. Lang sits on a horse, looking out at the cleanup after the concert, and euphorically tells Elliot that there will be a woodstick and even more beautiful concert on the West Coast and that the headliners woodstokc be The Rolling Stones.
The Asian director hasn't lost the sense of humor he displayed in The Wedding Banquet and Taking Woodstock, like Banquet, is also a superb study in culture clashes.
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