Taking Woodstock

“Go See What The Centre of the Universe Looks Like.”

From acclaimed director Ang Lee, this is the true story of Elliot Tiber (played by Demetri Martin and his important things). In the 1960’s, Tiber was a young interior designer living it up in New York’s gay scene-but every summer, his heart, body, and paycheques were drawn back to The Catskills, where his cranky parents run a dilapidated old motel called the El Monaco-his mother charging extra for towels, his father begrudgingly playing handyman. His parent’s motel, and the whole town, are on the verge of forgotten bankruptcy until he notices a piece in the local paper: a hippie music festival has been kicked out of nearby Wallkill, with tickets already sold. Tiber decides to act, calls up the promoters, and inadvertently becomes a part of history. Convincing his neighbour Max Yasgur (Eugene Levy) to rent the festival his alfalfa fields, Tiber brings three days of peace and music to White Lake, New York. As the festival’s planners descend on the motel, the town is up in arms about the influx of hippies.

This film captures the energy, madness, and hypocrisy of 1960’s social revolution masterfully-but most important, it captures its spirit. With no agenda, the film presents a young man whose life was changed by the cultural earthquake going on around him-and the beauty of that experience. Here is a sentimental look at a revolutionary time through sepia-tinted aviators-an example how one small action can affect millions of people-and how easy it is to change the world. Watching the festival’s organizer gallop through the debris on gleeful horseback, watching Mr. Yasgur wax poetic to Elliot about how lovely it is that the young people say thank you, watching Elliot’s parents cope with the upheaval around them, and watching Elliot come to terms with who he is-all these things make for a powerful, enjoyable movie. Definitely one of the best films you’ll see this year. Oh, and you get to see Emile Hirsch naked. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Iq8z2WDbKo

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  1. Jen H.
    August 28, 2009

    I really really want to see this!!!! I have a major Woodstock obsession, plus Dimitri Martin and Eugene Levy are so funny.

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