The trials and tribulations of Creating Woodstock
A Woodstock documentary 30 years in the making.
The 50th anniversary of Woodstock has come with excess baggage. So much so that some have called the upcoming iteration of the famed festival as “the next Fyre Festival“, with bands from the original saying the purported 2019 edition as potentially ruining their legacy. The debacle began over money and an average lineup, but now it seems there is no end to this disaster of a festival.
Perhaps then, it is no surprise that in the 50th year since there are not one but two documentaries that focus solely on the original Woodstock. We have covered the PBS documentary but now, the trailer for Creating Woodstock has surfaced. This long-gestating documentary compiles interviews and footage from the last 30 years with those behind the creation of the festival. Footage includes interviews with the founders of Woodstock Ventures- John Roberts, Joel Rosenman, Michael Lang, and Artie Kornfield- as well as interviews with the people responsible for organizing, wrangling, and ultimately convincing the artists to perform at the original festival.
And while the documentary seems devoid of interviews with some of the prominent artists involved, it does promise some interesting, never-seen or told stories from the event. The film’s producers have said, Creating Woodstock;
“features never-before-seen private film and rare archival video footage, original interviews with key figures, and uncovered photographs that show just how much went into pulling off the impossible. First-hand accounts of little known stories are woven throughout the film, such as when Jimi Hendrix was stranded at the airport and hitched a ride to the site, or when a bank manager was awoken in the middle of the night to get money to pay The Who, which then needed to be helicoptered to them before they would go on stage – much like the personal supply of strawberries that Janis Joplin required.”
Creating Woodstock will see release July 30th. Be sure to check out the trailer above. We can’t wait for the 50th anniversary of the 1999 event where Fred Durst will ultimately be asked why he did the festival and inevitably, he will answer, “for the nookie”.
Miles Davis and The Birth of the Cool
Can one distill cool into one documentary?
If there is one thing that has been indisputable about the legacy of Miles Davis is that he was the personification of ‘cool’. And it seems like there was no decade where he was making music that he wasn’t ever cool. We once said about Miles Davis and his cool that “no matter how scrupulous your selection – one cannot distill cool into thirteen tracks, no matter how good“. Now the unenviable task of distilling that cool into a succinct document falls into the hands of Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool, a new documentary detailing the life, music, and legacy of Miles Davis.
Directed by Stanley Nelson Jr. (Freedom Riders, The Murder of Emmett Till), Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival before hitting the festival circuit through the year. The film chronicles the rebellious nature of Miles Davis, detailing his desire to constantly break from the norm, with director Stanley Nelson saying;
“He was an extraordinary artist celebrated for his restless artistic aesthetic and his ceaseless innovation. He changed the course of music five or six times. By unpacking his upbringing, his methodology, his relationships, and his demons, we begin to understand the man who redefined the original American musical genre, jazz, and continues to influence generations of rock, funk, and hip-hop artists.”
Abramorama will screen the film today, August 23rd in New York with director Stanley Nelson taking part in a Q+A. Tickets for this screening, along with future screenings, can be found here.
Bruce Springsteen gets cinematic with Western Stars
“Life’s mysteries remain and deepen, its answers unresolved”
“We all have our broken pieces … nobody gets away unhurt. We’re always trying to find somebody whose broken pieces fit with our broken pieces and something whole emerges”
On the heels of the release of Bruce Springsteen’s nineteenth studio album Western Stars, Warner Bros Pictures has announced the release of the cinematic experience accompanying the album. The new film features Springsteen performing all 13 tracks from the new album, accompanied by a full orchestra in his 100-year-old barn. The film will also showcase old home footage as well as Springsteen’s life-earned ruminations we’ve seen through his career- brought to life recently with his stint on Broadway and on his Netflix special.
Warner Bros. exec Toby Emmerich has said about Western Stars and Springsteen;
“Bruce lives in the super rarified air of artists who have blazed new and important trails deep into their careers. With ‘Western Stars,’ Bruce is pivoting yet again, taking us with him on an emotional and introspective cinematic journey, looking back and looking ahead.”
Western Stars will premiere at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival, kicking off September 5th. The film was produced by Jon Landau, Barbara Carr, and George Travis with Springsteen executive producing it. Western Stars was co-directed by Springsteen and longtime collaborator Thom Zimny.