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Woodstock - 25th Anniversary Edition (Director's Cut)

" It is perhaps necessary to note that for three days in the summer of 1969, a rock concert was given on an upstate New York farm, and 400,000 people attended -- far more than were anticipated, far more than paid, far more than could be fed or sheltered or cared for after injuries or drug overdoses. It rained, there was mud, all traffic in and out was gridlocked, and the music continued, night and day. It was filmed by a director named Michael Wadleigh and a team that included a young Martin Scorsese and the editor Thelma Schoonmaker, who would later edit all of Scorsese's movies. They exposed 120 miles of film, shot with 16 cameras."

"Had it not been for this movie, Woodstock would be vaguely remembered as a rock concert that produced some recordings. Wadleigh's Woodstock created the idea of "Woodstock Nation," which existed for three days and was absorbed into American myth. Few documentaries have captured a time and place more completely, poignantly, and for that matter, entertainingly. It has a lot of music in it, photographed with a startling intimacy with the performers, but it's not simply a music movie. It's a documentary about the society that formed itself briefly at Woodstock before moving on, showing how the musicians sang to it, the hog farm commune fed it and the Port-O-San man provided it with toilet facilities."

"The remarkable thing about Wadleigh's film is that it succeeds so completely in making us feel how it must have been to be there."

"The concert was democratic in its choice of performers. Country Joe, poker-faced, leads the crowd through the anti-Vietnam "I Feel Like I'm Fixin' to Die Rag." Sha-Na-Na does a tightly choreographed 1950s version of "At the Hop." And Joe Cocker and everybody else on the stage and in the crowd sings "With a Little Help from My Friends." The director's cut adds an additional 45 minutes, including sets by Janis Joplin and Jefferson Airplane which were not in the original: Janis, so young, so filled with fierce energy, so doomed."

"The editors led by Schoonmaker weren't stuck with the concert shot that had become standard -- a fixed camera in front of the stage, pointing up at a singer. They could cut to reaction shots, multiple images, simultaneous close-ups when two members of a band did a mutual improvisation. Split-screen was an innovation then, and they used it, taking full advantage of their wide screen."

"Woodstock is a beautiful, moving, ultimately great film. It seemed to signal the beginning of something. Maybe it signaled the end. Somebody told me the other day that the 1960s has "failed." Failed at what? They certainly didn't fail at being the 1960s. Now that the period is described as a far-ago time like "the 1920s" or "the 1930s," how touching it is in this film to see the full flower of its moment, of its youth and hope." ----Roger Ebert

Selected for the Library of Congress National Film Registry of American Film.


  • Available Audio Tracks: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Available subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Note: Aspect Ratio varies from 1.33:1 to 2.35:1 throughout the film to preserve the aspect ratios of the original theatrical exhibition
  • 40 minutes of previously unseen footage has been incorporated into the film by director Michael Wadliegh

Curator's Comments:
Read Roger Ebert's essay on this DVD Classic.

Director: Michael Wadleigh
225 minutes
Released: 1970
Rated: R

Country: U.S.A.
Language: English
Genre: Documentary, Musical


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