You have to give Ang Lee credit for being a wily and unpredictable filmmaker. He’s moved somewhat seamlessly from low-budget dramedy (The Wedding Banquet) to classic period piece (Sense and Sensibility) to infidelity drama (The Ice Storm) to ignored western (Ride With the Devil) to much maligned comic book film (Hulk) to gay love story (Brokeback Mountain) to a dirty Asian spy thriller (Lust, Caution.) Now it appears Lee’s making another genre jump with the new film Taking Woodstock.
Taking Woodstock centers on a kidnapping gone awry, and will be told with a mix of live action and animation. Per Variety, the story follows a group of children who must put aside their petty differences and join forces to recover a kidnapped bird. The tale alternates between action and relationship drama as the kids deal with issues such as unrequited ginger love, masochistic tendencies, amateur psychiatry, and hair loss as a result of chemotherapy. The children, the bird, and a beagle airplane pilot will be presented with CGI reminiscent of the recent Garfield films starring Bill Murray, while the other characters and settings will be filmed with live actors. Shooting begins this month with Emile Hirsch as Charlie, Eugene Levy as the bird, Liev Shreiber as the beagle, The Daily Show‘s Demitri Martin as the Little Red Haired Girl, and Tim “James” Booth as all of the children’s teachers.
No more than a few words in the preceding paragraph are true, but I prefer them over the real plot for Taking Woodstock anyday. Based on a memoir by Elliot Tiber, the film follows his effort to organize the 1969 Woodstock festival on a farm in upstate New York.