Rated R 138 minutes 2007

Spanning 35 years of the world's longest-running music festival and the variously coiffed alternative types who attend it every summer by the tens of thousands, this odd anti-doc crosscuts its stubbornly undated footage of fans and bands with such willful disregard for storytelling that the result is like one big acid-tinged blur. Maybe the style befits the subject. Surely anyone who tripped his way through a weekend or two at the British Woodstock, an epic pop-rock bacchanalia held on 900 acres of farmland, would recognize the film as a flashback in the lysergic sense. Yet Julien Temple's film is New Journalism without the journalism -- or, alas, the drugs. In one characteristic spurt of ill-considered montage, Temple cuts from a swinging Morrissey in full-on Elvis-in-Vegas mode to a hippie toddler blowing soap bubbles, a Christ-like proselytizer lugging a gigantic cross o'er the Glastonbury plains, and a proud libertine toting a sign that reads "Protest naked." Morrissey's religious effect on a crowd is well known, but are these extraneous images taken from near the time of the performance? From the same year? The same decade? After the hundredth shot of a shirtless white guy shaking his dreads to the beat, noticing the camera, and flashing a peace sign, one has the sudden urge to attend a Johnny Mathis show in cufflinks.

Film Credits

Director: Julian Temple

Producer: Robert Richards

Cast: Coldplay, Primal Scream and Blur


Show Times

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