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My Generation Review


Very Good
Barbara Kopple manages to damn culture and the counterculture, making enemies of the whole world, with her lambasting of the Woodstock phenomenon in My Generation. Through the music festival's three incarnations so far (1969, 1994, and 1999), the highs and lows of the events are tracked. Of course, the way Kopple shows it (and I'm with her -- I'd never go to one of these things), it's mostly lows. If she isn't showing the riots, arsons, lootings, and overdoses of the crowd, she's railing against the corporate greed underlying the festival ($135 to $150 for tickets? A $7 slushee? After Pepsi shells out $5 million for sponsorship rights?) -- all under the guise of documentarian neutrality. Kopple's opinion may shine through in color, but that doesn't make it wrong. At two hours, My Generation is way too long (do we really need that much Limp Bizkit footage?), but it's still an eye-opening look into the corporate politics of the youth culture.

The End Of The Road Review


Weak
For The End of the Road, filmmaker Brent Meeske took a roving handheld camera on tour with The Grateful Dead, roaming the parking lots and campgrounds that made up the Deadhead scene during what wound up being the last three months of Jerry Garcia's life. In attempting to present the scene as realistically as possible, he foregoes narration and tries to show how the Deadhead scene was approaching an end even before Garcia's 1995 death made it official.

The shots of, and interviews with, the Deadheads are completely random for the first ten or fifteen minutes, and are nothing new to anyone who has ever been to a Dead show or had Deadhead friends. We see requisite shots of underweight tripsters with creative dentistry clad in dirty jeans and loose-fitting smocks and smoking weed and holding signs saying "I Need a Miracle" (Deadhead code for "I need a ticket"). A girl with "Dose Me" written on her forehead appears over and over again in montages until you want to scream at the screen, "For God's sake, someone dose her already!"

Continue reading: The End Of The Road Review

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