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Woodstock--Jesse Stapp

This week's film, Woodstock, was very accurate in depicting the realities of this rock music festival. For one, the viewpoints of the young adults in attendance were diametrically dissimilar from the viewpoints of older generations. This is exemplified in the interview of the young couple towards the beginning of the film. A common theme emerges in the sense that both the young man and woman lacked the means to communicate with their parents. What is really important to the young man was the freedom to do whatever made him happy. To his father, however, what was important was for his son to get a good education and have financial security. The film also stresses the importance of the festival. The emphasis was placed on the communal aspect of the gathering and not on the music. In the interviews, the young couple detailed their living situation in which they were both a part of a large communal house. Also, the cinematography of the film emphasized the communal aspect of Woodstock. Several camera shots showed the way in which people shared virtually everything, adding to the communal feel of the festival. In the film, people were sharing blankets and umbrellas when it was raining, as well as food, dry clothing and drugs. The communal feel of Woodstock is observed by scholars as well. Daniel Schowalter, in his article, "Remembering the Dangers of Rock and Roll: Toward a historical narrative of the rock festival," says that, "The film obscures its own music and is preoccupied with the delirious "effects" of the music on the fans and with the enchanting aura of the festival." This quote shows that the music of Woodstock, although legendary, took a backseat to the ideals of the time--togetherness, rebellion and compassion. These viewpoints do not go uncontested in the film, however. Several interviews throughout are representative of the older generations’ sentiments of the time. In an interview with an older townsman, he continues to opine that the festival is merely fueling the younger generation’s thirst for drugs and sex, and that rock n’ roll is the overriding cause. This leads us back to the way in which the viewpoints of the younger crowd deviated from those of the older generations, and how many communicative barriers were erected as well.