Woodstock

woodstockcannibaltruth-1

Imagine sitting down with your family in November to watch the classic Peanuts television special A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving. After enjoying the antics of Snoopy making a Thanksgiving dinner of toast, pretzels, popcorn, and jelly beans for all the neighborhood kids who rudely invite themselves over to Charlie Brown’s place, you find yourself horrified at the final scene: Snoopy’s little yellow buddy Woodstock stuffs himself on turkey. To this day, this scene shocks viewers, with some accusing Woodstock of engaging in cannibalism. He seemed like such a nice bird. Since we love a good Thanksgiving feast, and we love the Peanuts characters, this got us thinking: Is Woodstock really a cannibal?

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Criterion Files

Tune into VH1 Classics on any given day, and this is something you’re likely to see: a rock video of a mid-80s hair band playing on a giant stage, complete with sleek cinematography, wide camera angles, and a stadium-sized audience packed to the brim. At first you might be confused, thinking that this is possibly some Whitesnake or Guns N’ Roses song that somehow escaped your memory. But then the music video ends and in the bottom left corner the band’s name comes up. You’ve never heard of them before, and you’ve definitely never heard this song before. Yet this video depicts monstrous popularity that suggests nothing less than massive cultural phenomenon. While it’s possible for a one-hit wonder to develop this degree of renown for a certain frame of time, it becomes something of a schizophrenic moment when you consider that this hit single both inaugurated the now-forgotten band’s moment of popularity and depicted it simultaneously. With so many hair bands, how is it possible that every single one of them sells out stadium-size crowds? The answer, of course, can only be one thing: an association with mass popularity is, for hair bands, only a reality for the privileged few, but for the rest it’s a fabrication that’s all part of the musical aesthetic – it’s what makes this subgenre of rock that’s reliant on spectacle so spectacular. It’s fitting, then, that one of the landmark mockumentaries of American filmmaking chose as its subject a genre that itself relies […]

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taking-woodstock-1

‘Taking Woodstock’ is an unexpected detour into sunny territory for director Ang Lee but it’s so lightweight it’s almost insubstantial.

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published: 11.21.2014
D
published: 11.21.2014
B+
published: 11.19.2014
C+
published: 11.19.2014
B-, C


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