Woodstock, brilliantly made by Michael Wadleigh, is a virtually perfect record of the music festival held in Bethel, NY, in summer 1969.
As a documentary feature, the film is a milestone in artistic collation of raw footage into a multipanel, variable-frame, dazzling montage that engages the senses with barely a let-up.
From countless thousands of feet of exposed stock, Wadleigh has superbly orchestrated on film the mass intimacy of pop music and its latter-day relationship to self and environment. Woodstock is an absolute triumph in its marriage of cinematic technology to reality.
Of no mean help, of course, are the outstanding musical talents. They do their own things, while the individual and collective effect is spine-tingling.
[In 1994 a 225-min. Directorector’s Cut was released on homevideo.]
1970: Best Feature Documentary
Nominations: Best Editing, Sound