I wasn't at Woodstock, but I was at "Woodstock." So, too, can you be on this 40th anniversary of the event billed as "The Aquarian Exposition" by renting Michael Wadleigh's macrocosmic concert film headlining Joan Baez, Joe Cocker, Jimi Hendrix, Sly and the Family Stone and The Who (plus an audience of 400,000). Or by renting Tony Goldwyn's microcosmic A Walk on the Moon, an emotionally- and erotically-charged film with Diane Lane, Viggo Mortenson and Anna Paquin set in 1969 about a Generation Gap-defining mother and daughter who attend the concert, separately and surreptitiously, with their boyfriends. And I look forward to Ang Lee's Taking Woodstock, due in theaters August 28.
Your favorite Woodstock performance? Movie? Defend your choice. I wasn't much of a The Who or Sly and the Family Stone back in 1969 (my tastes ran towards Baez, Hendrix and Santana), but looking at the film again for the first time in 39 years, I was overwhelmed by how much The Who ("Feel Me") and Sly ("Higher") distilled the flower power of the moment. For me, both Woodstock, made in 1969, and A Walk on the Moon, in 1999, are time capsules -- one captured at the moment, the other looking at 1969 through the kaleidoscope eyes of 1999.