vrijdag 2 december 2016

100 Movie Challenge 2016 - # 155: Taking Woodstock

Director: Ang Lee
Genre: Comedy/ Drama
Runtime: 110 minutes
Year: 2009
Starring: Emile Hirsch, Liev Schreiber, Paul Dano, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Dan Fogler, Imelda Staunton, Eugene Levy, Henry Goodman, Jonathan Groff, Mamie Gummer, Kevin Sussman, Skylar Astin, Demetri Martin

Description: A man (Demetri Martin)) working at his parents' motel in the Catskills inadvertently sets in motion the generation-defining concert in the summer of 1969.

Review: Director Ang Lee decided to work with a lighter theme this time, after movies like “Brokeback Mountain” and “Lust, Caution”. “Taking Woodstock” it the end result.
A film with the word Woodstock in the title, will give the audience certain expectations. The rock festival will always be legendary and is seen as a turning point in world history. Ang Lee focusses on the organization of the concert, more than the event itself. The film is based on the memoires of Elliot Tiber, a man that accidentally became important in that organization. Elliot works at his parent’s hotel, that is having trouble. No tourists and his parents don’t see the seriousness of the problem. Elliot sees an opportunity when a city nearby is organizing a concert, but its permit is declined. He arranges a permit himself and shows the terrain. But more people are interested in coming to the concert than Elliot would have ever imagined.
“Taking Woodstock” was criticized, because the movie didn’t show anything from the concert itself. And I kind of see where it’s coming from. I know it wasn’t Lee’s intention to reconstruct the concert, but in a movie about Woodstock they could have given us a little bit of the music. Lee focusses more on the feeling that the concert gave the many visitors and how lots of young people became adults during this festival. Elliot has a tough relationship with his parents and is clearly struggling with his sexuality. Woodstock is a turning point for him.
The movie could easily fall into cliché. Elliot’s development isn’t as present, because it’s alternated with eccentric supporting characters, like Vietnam veteran Billy, the transsexual Vilma, but also the chaos that Woodstock causes.
Like many others, I expected to see more of Woodstock itself. This makes it a little disappointing. But overall, “Taking Woodstock” is a pretty fun film.

Rating: 3/ 5

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