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Taking Woodstock [DVD]

4.3 out of 5 stars 30 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Demetri Martin, Henry Goodman, Edward Hibbert, Imelda Staunton, Kevin Chamberlin
  • Directors: Ang Lee
  • Writers: Elliot Tiber, James Schamus, Tom Monte
  • Producers: Ang Lee, Celia D. Costas, David Lee, David Sauers
  • Format: PAL
  • Subtitles: French, Spanish
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Universal Pictures UK
  • DVD Release Date: 6 Sept. 2010
  • Run Time: 120 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00284ARQS
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 17,784 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

Comedy drama from celebrated director Ang Lee, based on the memoir 'Taking Woodstock: A True Story of a Riot, a Concert, and a Life' by Elliot Tiber and Tom Monte. The year is 1969 and Elliot Teichberg (Demetri Martin) has had to move back to work in his parents' run down Catskills motel after an unsuccessful attempt at interior design in New York City. With the bank threatening to shut down the motel at the same time a neighbouring town pulls the permit on a hippy music festival, Eliot comes up with a plan to save his family's business. Seeing the potential to generate customers for the motel, Elliot calls the festival producers but things turn out to be much bigger than he expected when, just three weeks later, over half a million people make their way to his neighbour's farm. Elliot now discovers himself caught up in a generation-defining adventure after which his life will never be the same again.

From Amazon.co.uk

The famous stage where Jimi Hendrix, the Who, and Crosby, Stills and Nash played before a half-million people in 1969 is never closer than a mile or so away in Taking Woodstock. Similarly, some of the familiar live music in Michael Wadleigh's Oscar-winning, 1970 documentary Woodstock is never louder than a distant echo in this period film by Ang Lee (Brokeback Mountain). That's because Taking Woodstock is not really about the music, but about a little-known figure who had everything to do with making the Woodstock concert festival happen. Elliot Tiber (Demetri Martin) is the very young president of a chamber of commerce in the Catskills town where he grew up. Burdened with the failure of his parents (amazing performances by Imelda Staunton and Henry Goodman) to make a go of a crummy motel, Elliot is making himself crazy trying to be a dutiful son and civic leader.

His trials are both lightened and intensified by an accident of history. Elliot sees a newspaper article explaining how the organizers of an outdoor rock concert have lost the use of a nearby field they were counting on. In short order, he makes contact with the promoters, putting them together with dairy farmer Max Yasgur (Eugene Levy), who has plenty of available pasture for rent. He also sets up the groovy but cryptic boss of the whole enterprise, Michael Lang (astute work by Tony Award-nominated Jonathan Groff, a talent to watch), as well as Lang's movers and shakers, at the motel. In no time, the Tibers' life becomes a three-ring circus, while a steady stream of young people clog the roads on their way to a legendary concert. Lee, a master at creating precise milieus for the varied stories he tells (Sense and Sensibility, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon), gets the look and texture and energy of a counterculture Happening in 1969 close to perfect. He also makes Taking Woodstock look vintage, bleaching colors to approximate the tones of many a big movie from that era, and using a split-screen to challenge the idea of the camera's singular perspective. In the end, Taking Woodstock is itself a pretty far-out version of a heartwarming coming-of-age tale--Elliot's coming-of-age, that is, as the excellent Martin's boy-man looks beyond that motel and discovers a big, wide world out there, just waiting for him. --Tom Keogh

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Even though this was recently made it captures the time period very well indeed.I was not at Woodstock,because I was in the UK at the time,but it was similar Hippy scene over here too,all innocent,exciting time when music, art,fashion and most important,a raising of human consciousness was happening very quickly.The late sixties were a very important to the planet,the youngters broke away from the old order,and Woodstock helped to do that, ending the Vietnam war, on a personal note... bringing Santana to the world,without Bill Graham, who took an active part in the Woodsock event,they would have never been the international success they still are today.
Thanks Bill,RIP.
I have watched this 3 times so far,its very funny,lighthearted and educational there is no music on the Woodstock stage,but plays in the background at times.
The acting is brilliant,and shows very well how it really was at that time in the States and eventually throughout the whole world.
Highly recommended especially for people who are old enough to be in the Hippy movement at that time,if you weren't then perhaps it wont mean so much,but is still a good movie to see.
There are some good bonus scenes too.
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By DJ Control TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 18 Mar. 2016
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
A review of the Blu-ray
I'm not sure why this movie got such a bum rap from critics and punters alike. From what I can gather they couldn't comprehend a movie about the legendary 1969 Woodstock music festival that did not feature any of the actual artists' performances that appeared on the famed stage. Which means they are missing the point of this film. It's not about "Woodstock", it's about how it happened. Love it or not I think it's another fine movie from Ang Lee. If you're a fan of this film I strongly suggest an upgrade to Blu-ray. To put it simply it looks stunning and unlike the DVD release its also has a number of bonus features about the making of the film. If you want the music there is already a 1970 documentary (now available in a director's cut edition) that gives you a pretty thorough feel of the festival itself including a large chunk of the music. For me, Taking Woodstock is a nice little trip back to 1969 for those of us that were not there either because we were too young or got stuck in the traffic jam. Cool, nice one Elliot!
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I first saw this film on Sky a few months ago and loved it - probably due to being part of the 'Woodstock generation' and always regretting not actually being there. Although there is very little of the actual concert (one very distant shot)the film accuratly captures the mood of the slow death of the dreary repressive 50's and the birth of the new culture. Nothing much happens but it happens very beautifully. This is a very gentle and moving film and I highly recomend it.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Perhaps that's the point. That there was something synthetic about that Summer of Love. There's much that feels synthetic here: not least the caricature Jewish family at the heart of the drama, Imelda Staunton playing an actress playing a Jewish mother not very well. And the cliche which is the half crazed Vietnam veteran. Without the sweep and pulse of the memorable music, what we experience is something touchingly false: a lot of deluded rather wretched people in a muddy field, drugged into believing something wonderful is happening outside their heads. It's Woodstock Reconsidered, seen from the perspective of all that followed, when the bubble of euphoria burst. Maybe it partly explains the generation that now thinks Trump is some kind of Saviour...
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Format: DVD
I am absolutely mystified at the indifferent or lukewarm reviews this movie had from professional critics on its UK release and furious with myself for having missed seeing it in the theater. Watching this on DVD I was pleasently surprised at how good a film this was, how subtle but detailed (and as always how delicate)was Ang Lee's touch...

I went back and read some of the film critic reviews and the major whine they all had was either 'its not Brokeback Mountain, or Lust Caution' or 'nothing much happens' or 'nothing of the concert' is shown. For heaven's sake! This is the true story of a young man who had the permit for a rock concert to be held at his hometown of Bethel ,and who on hearing the organizers of 'Woodstock' had their permit rejected, first at Woodstock and then at a place called Walkill, called up Michael Lang- the guy who was putting the concert together, and suggests he hold the concert there- all this with only days to go before the announced date, and got Lang introduced to Max Yasgur etc. And as his parents owned the motel there, how that became the base and starting point.

Lee's instincts were absolutely right to film a story about what went on at the periphery of a soon to be historic event. Why bother with the concert at all- we have the brilliant WOODSTOCK documentary for that. With his split screen and one or two touching references Lee pays tribute to the movie anyway. As for the criticism about 'nothing much happens' well what they means is the movie is random (like in real life folks!) and probably does not have the neat 'story line' cliches which I so detest! Demetri Martin who plays the young man Eliott Tischberg is fanstastic, but even his performance has been called 'lifeless'by some!!!
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