Chris Knipp Writing: Movies, Politics, Art


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 14, 2017 11:23 am 
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JANUS FILMS presents D. A. PENNEBAKER's
MONTEREY POP
- 50th Anniversary -

Opening at New York's IFC Center tonight, June 14, 2017, and across the country starting Friday - alongside a new celebration of the festival in Monterey.
**Director D. A. Pennebaker will be in-person for a Q&A
following the 7:45pm screening at IFC Center tonight,
and at Cinefamily on June 19**
Watch the trailer here

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"One of the truly invaluable artifacts of our era."
- Richard Schickel, Life
A joyous and poppy exploration of the music scene and the counterculture."
- Cristina Newland, Paste
"D. A. Pennebaker captured not only the performances - most of which were phenomenal - but the flower-power culture that sustained them."
- Sam Adams, Rolling Stone

Janus Films is proud to present a 4K anniversary restoration of MONTEREY POP, Direct Cinema pioneer D. A. Pennebaker's legendary concert film and unmatchable document of '60s counterculture and American flower power. Newly restored under the director's supervision on the occasion of the event's 50th anniversary, the film re-opens today, June 14, in New York at the IFC Center, and plays in Los Angeles at the Cinefamily on June 19 & 20 and at the Aero on June 23.

On a beautiful June weekend in 1967, at the height of the Summer of Love, the first and only Monterey International Pop Festival roared forward, capturing a decade's spirit and ushering in a new era of rock and roll. Monterey would launch the careers of Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, and Otis Redding, but they were just a few among a wildly diverse cast that included Simon and Garfunkel, the Mamas and the Papas, the Who, the Byrds, Hugh Masekela, and the extraordinary Ravi Shankar. With his characteristic vérité style, D.A. Pennebaker captured it all, immortalizing moments that have become legend: Pete Townshend destroying his guitar, Jimi Hendrix burning his. A brand-new 4k restoration supervised and approved by D.A. Pennebaker.
USA | 1968 | 78 minutes | Color | In English | Screening format: DCP
Press materials for MONTEREY POP are available here
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Rewatching Monterey Pop.

You can watch the existing Criterion Collection version of this film and I just finished watching it. The Woodstock film may be more extensive, and that event more historical, and some of these songs and acts seem dated now. But. . . this is the quintessential Sixties moment, the Summer of Love in pure simple unspoiled form. The Hells Angels sit quiet. The cops smile and welcome. Several of the sequences of music paired with audience are beyond brilliant. Notably Big Brother and the Holding Company and Ravi Shankar, both evoking blissed-out peace and meditativeness.

Whatever he was on, and he was on plenty, Jimi Hendrix's performance of "Wild Thing" seems like mindless exhibitionism and provocation. On the other hand, you can't forget this act. Shankar's music is eternal and timeless, its blend of rhythm, improvisation, sparring and unity reducing music to its universal essence - and its unifying spirit of pleasure and fun.

From a Wikipedia article about the film: "Among Pennebaker's several camera operators were fellow documentarians Richard Leacock and Albert Maysles. The painter Brice Marden has an "assistant camera" credit, and Bob Neuwirth, who figured prominently in Pennebaker's Bob Dylan documentary Dont Look Back, acted as stage manager. Titles for the film were by the illustrator Tomi Ungerer. Featured performers include Big Brother and the Holding Company with Janis Joplin, Jefferson Airplane, Hugh Masekela, Otis Redding, Ravi Shankar, The Mamas & the Papas, The Who and the Jimi Hendrix Experience, whose namesake set his guitar on fire, broke it on the stage, then threw the neck of his guitar in the crowd at the end of 'Wild Thing'."

Watch just the 18-minute Ravi Shankar sequence HERE. This is a classic musical performance movie sequence.

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©Chris Knipp. Blog: http://chrisknipp.blogspot.com/.


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