Arlo Guthrie

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Woodstock Review


Good
The appeal of Woodstock isn't as a concert film, though there are some great performances that hold up 40 years later. The film is a historical document, representing the zenith of the peace and love movement of the 1960s, and music's integral role in that equation. If you were born in the '70s or '80s, your take on the 1960s might consist of news clips and cultural caricatures. Director Michael Wadleigh sets the record straight.

For those whose musical history begins with Fall Out Boy, Woodstock was a three-day festival of "peace and music" held in upstate New York 40 years ago. All of the big musical acts of the day performed: Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jefferson Airplane, and The Who. The organizers expected 50,000 people each day, but due to several factors, 500,000 attended, braving rain and a lack of facilities to have a generation-defining experience on Max Yasger's farm.

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Picture - Arlo Guthrie Mansfield, Massachusetts, Saturday 20th September 2008

Arlo Guthrie Saturday 20th September 2008 performs during Farm Aid 2008 held at Comcast Center Mansfield, Massachusetts

Arlo Guthrie

The Ballad of Ramblin' Jack Review


Good
One of the biggest surprises at the Sundance Film Festival was debut filmmaker Aiyana Elliott's documentary portrait of her cantankerous folk singer dad, The Ballad of Ramblin' Jack. It was curious to see how well the audience responded to this deeply personal, lyrical film of lonesome highways and tough talking cowboys.

Aiyana Elliott previously made an impression on the festival circuit with her ferocious short, Tough, which offered a strong visual sensibility influenced by the washed out look of the golden era of '70s filmmaking. She knew how to truthfully portray a modern dysfunctional family, with naturalistic performances and startlingly honest dialogue, a unit whose means of communication is handled through shouting. It's not surprising to see that these themes continue in her current feature.

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