Telluride Film Fest Cinematheque: “Woodstock”

Telluride Film Fest Cinematheque: “Woodstock”

The Telluride Film Fest, in collaboration with the Telluride Library, launches the next Cinematheque series, “Music & Film,” on Monday, October 10, 6 p.m. in the Program Room. Free to all.


The 17th edition of the Telluride Film fest’s Cinematheque is a four-part series that explores the relationship between motion pictures and the beloved soundtracks of our lives. 

The two mediums of film and music have been inextricably intertwined for almost a century. Whether we are conscious of it or not, a musical score enhances the emotions we experience from the visual feast our eyes absorb from the screen. Inside our brains, the pictorial and the auditory combine to lift our experience into what the famous film composer Bernard Herrmann described as “the realm of poetry.”

What better way to explore this joyous phenomenon than to explore the lives and inner workings of the music-makers themselves?

The new series begins with the legendary masterpiece, WOODSTOCK (1970, 184 minutes, Rated R), directed Michael Wadleigh and a team that included young Martin Scorsese and editor Thelma Schoonmaker – who would go on to edit all of Scorsese’s films.

Winner of the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature, “Woodstock” chronicles the legendary 1969 music festival held near Bethel, New York.

Entertainment Weekly hailed the film as “the benchmark of concert movies and one of the most entertaining documentaries ever made.”

Featuring Crosby, Stills & Nash, Joan Baez, The Who, Joe Cocker, Arlo Guthrie, Jefferson Airplane, Santana, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, and a host of other legends.

Beautiful and unexpectedly relevant for today, “Woodstock” covers everything from the initial set-up and preparation of festival grounds under the direction of the soft-spoken and brilliant promoter Michael Lang, to the arrival of hundreds of thousands of free spirits on foot, by bus, all ways, in droves. They came for the undeniable magic that was the music of some of the greatest artists of this century, driven in part by the socio-political waves generated by successfully hosting such a peaceful and enormous gathering during a critical and often dark time of transition in the U.S.

“The remarkable thing about Wadleigh’s film is that it succeeds so completely in making us feel how it must have been to be there,” wrote Roger Ebert, “‘Woodstock’ is a beautiful, moving, ultimately great film… how touching it is in this film to see the full flower of its moment, of its youth, and hope.



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