The Sex and Drug Generation
Release Date: August 26, 2009
Audience: Older teenagers and adults
Runtime: 110 minutes
Distributor: Focus Features
Director: Ang Lee
Executive Producer: Michael Hausman
Writer: James Schamus
Address Comments To:Jeffrey R. Immelt, Chairman/CEO
James Schamus, President
A Division of NBC Universal and General Electric
65 Bleecker St., 2nd Floor
New York, NY 10012
Phone: (212) 539-4000
Fax: (212) 539-4099
The story focuses on Elliot Tiber, the son of an older Jewish couple who ran the El Monaco Motel in Bethel, New York. Elliott manages the hotel for his parents while serving as president of the local Chamber of Commerce. His domineering mother expects Elliot to keep the motel going.
Elliot gets a permit to hold his annual arts festival, which he uses to attract visitors to the motel. When Elliot learns that a nearby village has turned down a permit to hold the Woodstock music festival, Elliot offers the concert company a chance to use his permit. They agree, but the area around the motel is too small, so Elliot contacts local dairy farmer Max Yasgur, who offers his 600-acre farm for $75,000.
The concert goers start to show up, but a stoned Elliot makes a confused press statement that makes it sound as if the concert is free. Elliot welcomes a Korean veteran dressed as a woman, who calls himself Vilma, to act as security for the motel. He also has a homosexual fling with an electrician working for the concert promoter and takes an acid trip with a hippie couple in a psychedelic van.
TAKING WOODSTOCK focuses on Elliot’s homosexuality, and his relationship with his mother and father. The mother comes across as mean, sullen and greedy, while the father is more laid back. Strangely, the movie never really gets to the music featured at the concert, but instead celebrates the antinomian freedom that the gathering represented. In that light, Elliot’s homosexuality takes center stage, and Elliot’s mother comes across as a bitter, greedy Jewish woman who holds him back.
TAKING WOODSTOCK meanders too much. Also, the dramatic conflicts that do occur are underplayed. The movie’s content reflects a very strong Romantic worldview along with a New Age syncretism. There are also scenes of full male and female nudity and scenes of drug use, including LSD.
TAKING WOODSTOCK meanders too much. Also, it underplays the story’s dramatic conflicts. The movie reflects a very strong Romantic worldview along with a New Age paganism and many homosexual references. There are scenes of full male and female nudity. Elliot’s mother comes across as a bitter, greedy Jewish woman who holds him back. Strangely, the movie never covers the music played during the festival, the reason for the whole thing in the first place.