General · 6th January 2010
January 8, 7:45, Quadra Community Centre.
This enjoyable , humane movie does not recreate the epochal Woodstock Music and Art Fair. It is an intimate but peripheral view of the landmark event that took place on August 15 through 18, 1969, on a dairy farm in Bethel, N.Y. The movie’s primary focus is El Monaco, a shabby Catskills motel in White Lake, N.Y.
“Taking Woodstock” operates on the principal that contemplation of historic events from the margins can be more revealing than from the hot centre. Although it shows an immense traffic jam, fields of trash and hippies gleefully sliding through mud, “Taking Woodstock” pointedly shies away from spectacle to focus on how individual lives caught up by history are transformed.
The main character, Elliot Tiber is a mild mannered, semi-closeted gay interior decorator who has been living in Greenwich Village. Elliot has returned to the Catskills to help his parents keep their failing motel afloat. As the head of the Bethel’s Chamber of Commerce, Elliot offers the motel as a home base for the promoters of Woodstock Ventures after the company loses its permit for the festival in the nearby town of Walkill. He also smooths the deal between the festival promoters and the dairy farm. The rest of what was billed as “An Aquarian Exposition” promising “3 Days of Peace & Music” is history. (reference New York Times)