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Woodstock: The Director's Cut  [DVD]
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The director's cut of the documentary chronicling the highlights from Woodstock, the once-in-a-lifetime gathering of rock's greatest stars and Earth's most blissed-out peaceniks. Those performing at the seminal 1969 rock festival included the Who, Santana, Crosby, Stills and Nash and Jimi Hendrix. The original film won an Oscar for Best Documentary Feature.
The three-day Woodstock music festival in 1969 was the pivotal event of the 1960s peace movement, and this landmark concert film is the definitive record of that milestone of rock 'n' roll history. It's more than a chronicle of the hippie movement, however; this is a film of genuine historical and social importance, capturing the spirit of America in transition, when the Vietnam War was at its peak and antiwar protest was fully expressed through the liberating music of the time. With a brilliant crew at his disposal (including a young editor named Martin Scorsese), director Michael Wadleigh worked with over 300 hours of footage to create his original 225-minute director's cut, which was cut by 40 minutes for the film's release in 1970. Eight previously edited segments were restored in 1994, and the original director's cut of Woodstock is now the version most commonly available on videotape and DVD.
The film deservedly won the Academy Award for Best Documentary, and it's still a stunning achievement. Abundant footage taken among the massive crowd ("half a million strong") expresses the human heart of the event, from skinny-dipping hippies to accidental overdoses, to unpredictable weather, mid-concert childbirth, and the thoughtful (or just plain rambling) reflections of the festive participants. Then, of course, there is the music--a non-stop parade of rock 'n' roll from the greatest performers of the period, including Crosby, Stills, and Nash, Canned Heat, The Who, Richie Havens, Joan Baez, Ten Years After, Sly & The Family Stone, Santana, and many more. Watching this ambitious film, as the saying goes, is the next best thing to being there--it's a time-travel journey to that once-in-a-lifetime event. --Jeff Shannon, Amazon.comSee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
The 'Woodstock: Untold Stories' feature which includes all of the never before seen performances:
Joan Baez - One Day At A Time
Country Joe McDonald - Flying High
Santana - Evil Ways
Canned Heat - I'm Her Man
Canned Heat - On The Road Again
Mountain - Beside The Sea
Mountain - Southbound Train
Grateful Dead - Turn On Your Love Light
Creedence Clearwater Revival - Born On The bayou
Creedence Clearwater Revival - I Put A Spell on You
Creedence Clearwater Revival - Keep On Choogling
The Who - We're Not Gonna take It
The Who - My Generation
Jefferson Airplane - 3/5 of a Mile in 10 Seconds
Joe Cocker - Something's Coming On
Johnny Winter - Mean Time Blues
Paul Butterield - Morning Sunrise
Sha Na Na - Teen Angel
Canned Heat - Woodstock Boogie
The Who - Sparks
Jimi Hendrix - Spanish Castle Magic
These performances have variable video quality and are in 4:3 format but are great additions to what's already been formally released. The Grateful Dead's 'Turn On Your Love Light' is one of those that the picture quality isn't brilliant but its 36 minutes long and a great performance.
There are several other bonus extras that include:
Woodstock from Festival To Feature
Reflections Of An Era
A Farm In Bethel
....Read more ›
All the footage of the 'big hitters' is in here: Richie Havens, Crosby Stills & Nash, Joe Cocker, The Who, Jimi Hendrix, etc, but what this DVD lacks is the 'incidental' footage which made the original documentary so watchable.
There was so much footage that the screen had to be split into three to get it all in, resulting in many "WTF?" moments. Anyone catch the man dancing with the sheep? Or the naked couple 'getting it on' in the grass?
No, thought not. Almost none of the incidental footage is included in this DVD version.
To describe this DVD as a 'Director's Cut' is simply laughable: in many circumstances where the original footage split into three, on this version the 'side panels' have just been filled in with identical duotone vignettes of the main act. An irritatingly clunky cinematic device which isn't faithful to the original documentary, and doesn't tell the story.
All in, a disappointment.
There are other buried treasures in here as well - for example, I'd never realised how beautiful Grace Slick was (probably because I'd heard so many tales about her unpleasant personality) or, for that matter, how much Janis Joplin reminded me of Ozzy Osbourne in his earlier days. To be sure, some of the music is more dispensible than others (and some of the performances have clearly been cleaned up - or completely overdubbed - after the event): I could never see the point of Sha Na Na, and I still find myself nodding off during Ten Years After's "Going Home" (sure, Alvin Lee's a fantastic guitarist, but he seems to spend 90% of the song not playing it). But they're more than made up for by the magic: Country Joe getting the crowd on its feet with his impromptu "Fixin' To Die Rag", Pete Townshend swaggering through "Summertime Blues", Joe Cocker's catarthic "Little Help From My Friends" and Hendrix's appearance right at the end, as if just descended from a spacecraft: "I see that we meet again, hmmmm...".
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This was actually a gift for a friend. They haven't watched it yet, but was blown away when they saw it was a 4-Disc collector's set.
So far, so good.
Buyers should be aware that this German Blu-ray contains the Director's Cut only and no extras. There are no performances by some of the artists listed on the front sleeve. Read morePublished 1 month ago by M. Keen
Great to see this again after so many years, although to be honest I only got it for the performance of Joan Baez, the rest are good and brings back nice memories.Published 1 month ago by rex
This was only the second ever film I bought on video when video was new (the first was 2001: A Space Odyssey). Read morePublished 4 months ago by L. Chester