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Woodstock is a 1970 documentary film of the watershed counterculture Woodstock Festival which took place in August 1969 near Bethel, New York. Entertainment Weekly called this film the benchmark of concert movies and one of the most entertaining documentaries ever made.
|Directed by||Michael Wadleigh|
|Produced by||Bob Maurice|
|Edited by||Michael Wadleigh|
|Distributed by||Warner Bros.|
|Box office||$50 million|
The film was directed by Michael Wadleigh. Seven editors are credited, including Thelma Schoonmaker, Martin Scorsese, and Wadleigh. Woodstock was a great commercial and critical success. It received the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature. Schoonmaker was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Film Editing, a rare distinction for a documentary. Dan Wallin and L. A. Johnson were nominated for the Academy Award for Best Sound. The film was screened at the 1970 Cannes Film Festival, but was not entered into the main competition.
The 1970 theatrical release of the film ran 185 minutes. A director's cut spanning 224 minutes was released in 1994. Both cuts take liberties with the timeline of the festival. However, the opening and closing acts are the same in the film as they appeared on stage; Richie Havens opens the show and Jimi Hendrix closes it.
Jimi Hendrix at Woodstock was also released separately on DVD and Blu-ray.
In 1996, Woodstock was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant". An expanded 40th Anniversary Edition of Woodstock, released on June 9, 2009 in Blu-ray and DVD formats, features additional performances not before seen in the film, and also includes lengthened versions of existing performances featuring Creedence Clearwater Revival and others.
Artists by appearanceEdit
* studio recording from an album by the artist
** director's cut only, not in the original theatrical release
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Woodstock received universal acclaim from newspaper and magazine critics in 1970. It was also an enormous box office smash. The edition of May 20, 1970 of Variety reported it was doing well in its third week in Chicago and San Francisco. (The trade paper used the insider term "lap" to mean "week" in the headline that cited Woodstock's $52,000 profit in Chicago.) In each of those metropolitan areas the movie played at only one cinema during that week, but many thousands showed up. Eventually, after it branched out to more cinemas including more than one per metropolitan area, it grossed $50 million in the United States. The budget for its production was just $600,000, making it not only the sixth highest-grossing film of 1970 but one of the most profitable movies of that year as well.
25th Anniversary "Director's Cut" (1994)Edit
Tear it up
have a Ball
– Woodstock (director's cut) closing credits
Upon the festival's 25th anniversary, in 1994, a director's cut of the film — subtitled 3 Days of Peace & Music — was released in cinemas and later on DVD. It added over 40 minutes and included additional performances by Canned Heat, Jefferson Airplane and Janis Joplin. Jimi Hendrix's set at the end of the film was also extended with two additional numbers. Some of the crowd scenes in the original film were replaced by previously unseen footage.
After the closing credits — featuring Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young's "Find the Cost of Freedom" — a list of prominent people from the "Woodstock Generation" who had died is shown, including John F. Kennedy, Malcolm X, Che Guevara, Martin Luther King, Jr., Mama Cass Elliot, Jim Morrison, John Lennon, Max Yasgur, Roy Orbison, Abbie Hoffman, Paul Butterfield, Keith Moon, Bob Hite, Richard Manuel, Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix. It ends with the epitaph to the right:
40th Anniversary edition (2009)Edit
On June 9, 2009 a 40th-anniversary edition was released in two-disc sets on Blu-ray and DVD, available as both a "Special Edition" and an "Ultimate Collector's Edition". The latter included copious memorabilia. The director's cut was newly remastered in high definition with a 2K scan of the original elements, and provided a new 5.1 audio mix. Among the special features are 18 never-before-seen performances from artists such as Joan Baez, Country Joe McDonald, Santana, The Who, Jefferson Airplane, Canned Heat and Joe Cocker; five of the artists included—Paul Butterfield, Creedence Clearwater Revival, The Grateful Dead, Johnny Winter and Mountain—played at Woodstock but had never appeared in any film version.
The bonus songs, a 143-minute collection of 18 performances presented in standard definition, are entitled "Untold Stories":
- Joan Baez: "One Day at a Time" (4:17)
- Country Joe McDonald: "Flying High" (2:21)
- Santana: "Evil Ways" (3:56)
- Canned Heat: "I'm Her Man" (5.33)
- Canned Heat: "On the Road Again" (10.49)
- Mountain: "Beside the Sea" (3:38)
- Mountain: "Southbound Train" (6:17)
- The Grateful Dead: "Turn on Your Love Light" (37:44)
- The Who: "We're Not Going to Take It" (9:07)
- The Who: "My Generation" (7:36)
- Jefferson Airplane: "3/5 of a Mile in 10 Seconds" (5:40)
- Joe Cocker: "Something's Coming On" (4:14)
- Johnny Winter: "Mean Town Blues" (10:52)
- Paul Butterfield: "Morning Sunrise" (8:26)
- Sha Na Na: "Teen Angel" (3:21)
- Creedence Clearwater Revival: "Born on the Bayou" (5:12)
- Creedence Clearwater Revival: "I've Put a Spell On You" (4:10)
- Creedence Clearwater Revival: "Keep on Chooglin" (9:25)
Bonus featurettes, also in standard definition, last 77 minutes. Entitled "Woodstock: From Festival to Feature," they cover the festival itself, the challenges of making the film, its reception and legacy, and other topics:
- The Camera
- 365,000 Feet of Film
- Shooting Stage
- The Lineup
- Holding the Negative Hostage
- Suits vs. Longhairs
- Documenting History
- Woodstock: The Journey
- The Crowd
- No Rain! No Rain!
- 3 Days in a Truck
- The Woodstock Effect
- Living Up to Idealism
- World's Longest Optical
- Critical Acclaim
- The Hog Farm Commune
- Hugh Hefner and Michael Wadleigh
Woodstock: 3 Days of Peace & Music - The Director's Cut, 40th Anniversary Revisited (2014)Edit
This edition contains the same Blu-ray version of the film released in 2009 along with the second Blu-ray disc of bonus features, but the latter are now presented in high definition. The set also adds a third Blu-ray disc with "Untold Stories Revisited," sixteen previously unreleased performances that run 73 minutes, plus eight more featurettes. The performances include:
- Melanie: "Mr. Tambourine Man/Tuning My Guitar" (6:18)
- Joan Baez: "Oh Happy Day" (3:59)
- Joan Baez: "I Shall Be Released" (3:38)
- Santana: "Persuasion" (2:55)
- Canned Heat: "Woodstock Boogie" (8:38)
- The Grateful Dead: "Mama Tried" (2:53)
- The Who: "Sparks" (5:25)
- The Who: "Pinball Wizard" (2:51)
- Jefferson Airplane: "Volunteers" (2:53)
- Jefferson Airplane: "Come Back Bay" (5:56)
- Country Joe and the Fish: "Not So Sweet Martha Lorraine" (4:23)
- Crosby, Stills & Nash: "Helplessly Hoping" (2:27)
- Crosby, Stills & Nash: "Marrakesh Express" (2:55)
- The Paul Butterfield Blues Band: "Everything's Gonna Be Alright" (8:53)
- Sha Na Na: "Book of Love" (2:07)
- Jimi Hendrix: "Spanish Castle Magic" (7:09)
The featurettes are entitled "Woodstock: From Festival to Feature Revisited." They run a total of 32 minutes in length and cover the festival behind the scenes, its history and legacy, and the restoration of the film:
- Technical Difficulties
- Woodstock: A Turning Point
- Food, Lodging & First Aid
- Reflections of an Era
- Woodstock: A Farm in Bethel
- A Cinematic Revolution
- The Woodstock Generation
In the science fiction thriller The Omega Man (1971), Colonel Robert Neville (played by Charlton Heston) is seen traveling to a movie theatre in Los Angeles to screen the film for himself alone. Woodstock had been a recent film debuting prior to release of The Omega Man, and had been held over (continuously run) in some theaters for months. Neville darkly remarks the film is so popular it was "held over for the third straight year". As he repeats some of the dialogue verbatim, it is clear that Neville has repeated the ritual many times during the two years that he has believed himself to be the last man alive on Earth. Referencing the ground breaking, never before made, nature of the film Neville wryly reverses it to "they don't make films like that any more", a platitude common because of a new style of films emerging at the time.
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- The Entertainment Weekly Guide to the Greatest Movies Ever Made. New York: Warner Books. 1996. p. 130.
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- "Woodstock 40th Anniversary Ultimate Collector's Edition Import: Amazon.ca: Joan Baez, Richie Havens, Roger Daltrey, Joe Cocker, Country Joe McDonald, Arlo Guthrie, Jimi Hendrix, Carlos Santana, Janis Joplin, The Who, Sha-Na-Na, Country Joe and the Fish, Al Wertheimer, David Myers, Don Lenzer, Malcolm Hart, Michael Margetts, Michael Wadleigh, Bob Maurice, Dale Bell: DVD".
- "Here is proof that many thousands of... - Susanna Radaelli - Facebook".
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- "DVD Review: Release 'revisits' Woodstock's 40th anniversary - LA Times". Glendalenewspress.com. August 15, 2014. Retrieved December 11, 2015.
- Kato, M. T. (2007). From Kung Fu to Hip Hop: Globalization, Revolution, and Popular Culture. SUNY Press. ISBN 0-7914-6991-3. Cf. pp.82-onward & various.
- Saunders, Dave (2007). Direct Cinema: Observational Documentary and the Politics of the Sixties. London: Wallflower Press. ISBN 1-905674-16-3.
- Bell, Dale, ed. (1999). Woodstock An Inside Look at the Movie that Shook Up the World and Defined a Generation. Studio City: Michael Wiese Productions. ISBN 0-941188-71-X.