For Your Next Hangover
Academy award winning documentary “Woodstock: 3 days of Peace and Music” Directed by Michael Wadleigh. Released via Warner Music this beauty captures both the musical and non-musical elements that define this epic festival. The original 70 miles of raw footage (captured by a 70 person crew over three glorious days at Bethel, up state New York) has been remasters to the extent that the colours are almost as bright as if you were there ; ) The doco also has over 2 hours of previously unleased performances by The Grateful Dead (fans also read this), The Who and Creedence Clearwater Revival. Interestingly enough the crew had to shoot with limited film and ended up recording audio and visual separately. Last year celebrated the 40th anniversary of Woodstock which became a milestone for music and politics.
Unsurprisingly, not all acts agreed to being filmed for the documentary including Neil Young who commented during the Crosby, Stills and Nash set about how the festival had become “this Hollywood trip with all the fuckin’ cameras”. Other highlights include further unseen footage, director’s comments and an interview with the festival promoter Michael Lang.
Other Woodstock related reading/viewing:
“Taking Woodstock” directed by Ang Lee
Michael Lang Autobiography “The Road to Woodstock”
By the by, Sophie Howarth has done a phenomenal job of documenting the Big Day Out in terms of sill photography, I wonder when will we see the first glimpses of a BDO motion picture doco?
For you metal fans out there, take a look at “Anvil! The Story of Anvil”, Directed by Sacha Gervasi. This documentary captures the aftermath of a band who briefly made it big in the 80’s only to be forgotten just a fast. They began in 1973 ahead of bands such as Metallica and Slayer and, whether recognised for it or not, are the true godfathers of thrash metal. Amongst their rise to fame the band encountered poor management, promotion and production which ensured the band’s name slipped away prematurely. Guitarist and vocalist Steve “Lips” Kudrow and drummer Robb Reiner moved on to lead less than thrilling lives. One working in construction, the other serving up sloppy joes to youngsters who would know nothing of the bands existence.
The doco follows the journey as these two remain true to their passion and make restless attempts at reviving Anvil. The film documents an overly hyped tour of Europe, where the final leg was to be at a music festival in Romania with a capacity of 10,000. Only 174 came. From trying to kick start new albums to struggling for an EMI record deal, the story of Anvil is heart wrenching yet comical in moments. Director Gervasi had long been a fan of these guys, having even toured with them in the eighties. They had a story and he pushed them to tell it. After this documentary Anvil began getting the attention they deserved and even landed some shows on AC/CD Black Ice World Tour.
If this kind of thing is up your ally, then you might also want to check out Flight 666. This is Iron Maidens documentary that takes you behind the scenes on their biggest tour ever. I have not seen this one but it received 5 of 5 in Rolling Stone.
Going back to all things remastered, I have heard good things the Australian masterpiece “Dogs in Space”. This movie is said to captures the essence of Australian subcultures in the late 70’s. Directed by Richard Lowenstein and starting INXS Singer Michael Hutchence, this movie will also give you a pretty damn good insight into the punk era on our shores.
For further brushing up on Australian music and the industry you can not go past John Safran's Music Jamboree that aired back in 2002. Safran is a freaking genius and is also the brains behind the hilarious series Race Relations, Speaking in Tongues and John Safran Vs God. From the music mole who makes you second guess the rationality of the music industry to elaborate pranks including dressing friends up as SlipKnot and getting them into an exclusive Melbourne night club. Seriously get your hands on this!
Aside from this it also seems a hell of a lot of musicians are now creating docos to go along with their latest album. Behind the scenes footage filming a clip or creating the album…perhaps this is just a means of reaping the revenue lost after the Napster debacle.