The upcoming 40th anniversary of the Woodstock festival was the impetus for the Vancity Theatre’s Summer of Sound series, programmer Tom Charity told the Straight. He chose films “to explore what that time means to us now—how the promise and communal spirit of rock music in the late ’60s changed as the decades progressed”. A newly restored print of Woodstock will run alongside darker films like Gimme Shelter and Neil Young’s 2008 movie, CSNY: Déjà Vu, which, Charity notes, sees Young “trying to revive the spirit of protest as he toured against the Iraq war, and being met with derision, suspicion, and hostility from the media, and from fans, even”.
Barbara Kopple and Thomas Haneke’s My Generation looks at the 1994 and 1999 revivals of Woodstock and features Green Day, Metallica, and Primus. “It shows that in many ways the spirit of those times survives,” said Charity. “There’s lots of sincerity, and music is itself an artistic attempt to make the world a better place. And yet everything is so commodified that the notion of reviving Woodstock is itself inherently flawed and destined to failure.”
Other films include three for Pride Week: Velvet Goldmine, Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars, and The Blue Angel. Visit www.vifc.org/ for details on the full festival, which runs until August 18.