Thursday, October 1, 2009

Back to Woodstock, the other Woodstock

So you should know that "Woodstock: Now & Then," the documentary screened last night, offers a fresh take on a story that has been dissected and analyzed and explored for 40 years. Click here to learn more.

I did more reporting on the 40th anniversary of Woodstock between Dec. 2008 and Aug. 2009 than anyone should have really been permitted to do in one lifetime. You can see the fruits of my many labors by clicking here and clicking here.

And after all that research, I feel like I got a pretty good handle on what this whole Woodstock thing was and is about. And this documentary kind of placed everything I learned over those months into a new context, giving me a fresh perspective.

Some highlights of the documentary are interviews with Woodstock concert promoter Michael Lang, fresh footage that I've never seen before and crazy stories about then-New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller wanting to send the National Guard into the festival and farmers who sued the concert organizers because their cows didn't give milk for several weeks after the festival.

I had already seen the documentary, so I showed up toward the end and watched with many others in the bar of the Bearsville Theater, on monitors. The crowd cheered Michael Lang, Jimi Hendrix and Wavy Gravy. But they saved their loudest cheers for the footage of President Barack Obama, who was featured in the context of Woodstock manifesting itself in his election last year.

Lang has told me that he sees the spirit of Woodstock living on very clearly in his election, and the movement that elected him. A statement like that really makes you think.

Also - someone else in the film said "Woodstock was not a movement. Woodstock was a moment."

It was a very good film.

No comments: