24 Oct

woodstock: three days that defined a generation review

Goodman spends the doc's first short section showing how four young entrepreneurs, two business-types and two hippies, settled on the idea of holding "an Aquarian exposition" somewhere in the farmlands of New York state. Screenwriters: Barak Goodman, Don Kleszy What they experienced was a moment that would spark a cultural revolution, changing many of them and the country forever. Though giant outdoor music festivals weren't a Coachella-style industry in the '60s, they weren't unheard of, either. But locals were rattled by the look of the workers, and managed to outlaw the event, sending producers scrambling for a new location. FACEBOOK Producers had told locals they'd have, at most, 50,000 attendees; an estimated 400,000 actually arrived. Brought in by organizers who'd seen how badly conventional security worked at other fests and thought an alternative might be welcome, these idealists described themselves as a "please force" (as opposed to "police force"), framing their crowd-control instructions as friendly requests. There have been a lot of documentaries about the historic Woodstock festival, but many have not discussed much other than the performance aspect of it. This documentary lets the ones who were there discuss what it took to put the festival together, the challenges the festival faced, the unity of everyone involved, and what it meant to the country during a critical time. Amid all the logistical details of the doc, an unexpected main attraction emerges: a hippie commune dubbed the Hog Farm, led by a curly-haired jester who called himself Wavy Gravy. Notable Video Game Releases: New and Upcoming, What to Watch Now on HBO Max and the HBO App. What took place in that teaming mass of humanity — the rain-soaked, starving, tripping, half-a-million strong throng of young people — was nothing less than a miracle of unity, a manifestation of the “peace and love” the festival had touted, and a validation of the counterculture’s promise to the world. This movie will compel you to think about why that happened. While Goodman and Ephron’s film abides by a “peace & love 101” approach that might prove tiresome for people who already know about Wavy Gravy or the inclement weather that threatened to rain out an entire movement, this lucid and entertaining look back in time gradually twists that broadness into its greatest strength. © 2020 The Hollywood Reporter They set up a camp outside the main audience area and operated a massive free kitchen; they had their own laid-back stage for music lovers who couldn't tolerate the sea of humanity nearby; they helped those who had taken drugs that didn't agree with them. More than two months before showtime, crews descended on the Wallkill, New York, site they had leased, installing electrical lines; in order to decide how many portable toilets they'd need, organizers had stood outside restrooms at sporting events with stopwatches and clipboards, collecting data. More From Woodstock: Three Days that Defined a Generation. But a rare convergence of good luck, good intentions, and good vibes somehow snapped into place and crystallized over a few days in August the aspirations of a counterculture about to hit its peak. Please enter your birth date to watch this video: You are not allowed to view this material at this time. Director: Barak Goodman Distributor: PBS Distribution “Woodstock: Three Days That Defined a Generation,” directed by Barak Goodman, uses the perspective of nearly 50 years’ hindsight to demonstrate anew … We rank the 25 best-reviewed horror films of the 2010s. They chose the former, and eventually (under duress) declared the concert free to all comers. Goodman's interviews with attendees can often veer into vague cliches about how the then-teens felt they had finally found their people and believed they could change the world. Terms of Use | Finally, the residents of nearby White Lake chipped in, donating supplies from their own pantries when the going got tougher. 11:40 AM PDT 5/8/2019 Is it possible that a single long weekend on an upstate New York pasture "defined a generation"? Woodstock has a complicated legacy and a lot of myths surrounding it, but Woodstock: Three Days That Defined A Generation decided to go with the story that most of us know by heart. “Kids are hungry, you gotta feed them,” one says. Goodman isn't shy about documenting the problems this caused, but he always manages to find a silver lining: When an unprepared concession area ran out of food very early on, leaving a city-sized group of kids to go hungry, Goodman celebrates the local farmers who cleared out their pantries to donate food. Right before the concert's scheduled Aug. 15 opening, they realized they could only finish one of two key construction projects: the stage, without which there was no concert; or the fencing, which would allow them to charge for admission and keep freeloaders out. Barak Goodman's straightforward Woodstock: Three Days that Defined a Generation plays to this group of nostalgic Baby Boomers, offering a rosy view of the titular event that for many is synonymous with Peace & Love. “Woodstock: Three Days That Defined a Generation,” directed by Barak Goodman, uses the perspective of nearly 50 years’ hindsight to demonstrate anew how the festival was both a mess and a miracle, and implicitly argues that it was a good deal more miracle than mess. Composer: John Kusiak Goodman chooses not to show any of his interviewees as they speak, instead placing their voices over snapshots of their youthful selves and footage of the young people who started flooding into the site a week early to set up camp. | Cookie Settings, Elliot Landy/The Image Works/Tribeca Film Festival. Attendees both famous (David Crosby, for instance) and not contribute commentary and anecdotes off screen. Then there’s the singer Richie Havens, who, having been practically cornered into opening the show, delivered a transcendent set. May 23, 2019 Woodstock: Three Days That Defined a Generation, directed by Barak Goodman, uses the perspective of nearly 50 years’ hindsight to demonstrate anew how the festival was both a mess and a miracle, and implicitly argues that it was a good deal more miracle than mess. The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel IV, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm: Delivery of Prodigious Bribe to American Regime for Make Benefit Once Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan. Editor: Don Kleszy John DeFore When you purchase a ticket for an independently reviewed film through our site, we earn an affiliate commission. A rose-tinted version of an oft-told tale. All rights reserved. Producers: Jamila Ephron, Barak Goodman, Mark Samels The heroes here include Max Yasgur, the dairy farmer who let the festival organizers use his land, which got pretty torn up. Barak Goodman's straightforward Woodstock: Three Days that Defined a Generation plays to this group of nostalgic Baby Boomers, offering a rosy view of the titular event that for many is synonymous with Peace & Love. Then he spends a dozen minutes explaining the '60s to us. © 2020 CBS Interactive Inc. All rights reserved. It's when we're hanging out with these kazoo-playing commune-ists that this vision is most convincing. Privacy | Woodstock: Three Days that Defined a Generation, Check box if your review contains spoilers, In August 1969—against a backdrop of a nation in conflict over sexual politics, civil rights, and the Vietnam War—half a million people converged on a small dairy farm in upstate New York to hear the concert of a lifetime. Promoters were trying to make them happen around the country, and in fact, one of the men who went on to co-produce Woodstock, Michael Lang, had already endured failure with a fest held at a racetrack. About Our Ads The events of Woodstock have been told, so it’s refreshing that this documentary draws out the details one might not have heard before — the food donations from the town, the volunteer Army doctors, the attendees who stayed to pick up trash. Once they had it, there wasn't enough time left to finish construction work. This conventional PBS-style piece intends to deliver the story behind the event without much more than the slightest nod to the music, which is shunted to the side in this telling of the already oft-told story. The “love thy neighbor” ethos behind that sentiment has been all but choked out of this country’s lingua franca. Though few would argue that the three-day music festival suffers from underexposure in the historical record, this production for public TV's American Experience series serves as a fine primer for curious younger viewers and wistful oldsters alike, focusing less on the event's main attraction (the music, better represented in Michael Wadleigh's 1970 performance film) than on how an event that seemed headed toward disaster instead left attendees feeling very groovy. Boy, did people come. In August 1969—against a backdrop of a nation in conflict over sexual politics, civil rights, and the Vietnam War—half a million people converged on a small dairy farm in upstate New York to hear the concert of a lifetime. Michael Wadleigh’s epic, immersive, and still stirring 1970 documentary “Woodstock” remains the definitive account of the “Three Days of Peace, Love and Music” that went down in upstate New York in the summer of 1969. Many groups of humans linked only by being born during a given span of years have resisted such reductive labeling, but Americans who were teenagers in the late 1960s, on the whole, put up fewer objections. A ccording to Woodstock: Three Days that Defined a Generation, the 1969 Woodstock festival seemed fated to fail. Barak Goodman's straightforward Woodstock: Three Days that Defined a Generation plays to this group of nostalgic Baby Boomers, offering a rosy view … Woodstock: Three Days That Defined a Generation, directed by Barak Goodman, uses the perspective of nearly 50 years’ hindsight to demonstrate anew how the festival was both a mess and a miracle, and implicitly argues that it was a good deal more miracle than mess. With never-before-seen footage, Woodstock tells the story of the political and social upheaval leading up to those three historic days, as well as the extraordinary events of the concert itself, when near disaster put the ideals of the counterculture to the test. ‘Woodstock: Three Days That Defined a Generation’ Review: A Return to 1969. What experiences and stories did they carry with them to Bethel, New York that weekend, and how were they changed by their time in the muck and mire of Max Yasgur’s farm? The Hollywood Reporter, LLC is a subsidiary of Prometheus Global Media, LLC. TWITTER Who were these kids? Sitemap | I was shocked at how emotional the film, covering familiar ground with a lot of familiar footage, could be. EMAIL ME. Venue: Tribeca Film Festival (Spotlight Documentary). The cheerful anarchist Wavy Gravy and his mates from the Hog Farm commune provided solace to bum-trip victims, then fed the masses when concession food ran out. A scene from “Woodstock: Three Days That Defined a Generation,” a documentary directed by Barak Goodman. (Lang would return to a racetrack, with tragic consequences, when he participated in the infamous Altamont concert that "ended the Sixties" four months after Woodstock.)

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