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Message to Love - The Isle of Wight Festival 1970: The Movie (1997) [Re-Up]

Posted By: Designol
Message to Love - The Isle of Wight Festival 1970: The Movie (1997) [Re-Up]

Message to Love - The Isle of Wight Festival 1970: The Movie (1997)
DVD9 | VIDEO_TS | PAL | 4:3 (720x576) VBR | AC3 2.0 @ 384 kbps | ~ 7.6 Gb | Scans included
Genre: Documentary, Rock, Folk | Label: Sanctuary | # SVEM0040 | Time: 02:00:11

For about a year after the Woodstock Music and Art Fair in 1969, it seemed as though everyone wanted to stage a rock festival. However, The Rolling Stones' disastrous Altamont free concert (documented in the film Gimme Shelter) forever tarnished the image of the rock festival in the U.S., while in Europe, the 1970 Isle of Wight Festival was fortunately less deadly than Altamont, but nearly as controversial. Staged by two men with greater ambitions than practical experience (not unlike Woodstock), the festival was held on a small island off the British coast, where some of the finest rock talent of the day – Jimi Hendrix, The Doors, The Who, Miles Davis, Joni Mitchell, Donovan, Jethro Tull, Joan Baez, Leonard Cohen, and Kris Kristofferson, among many others – were scheduled to play over the course of five days. But while at Woodstock no one had given much thought about keeping gatecrashers out, at the Isle of Wight those without tickets were greeted with corrugated steel fences that sealed off the festival grounds. Huge numbers of visitors simply camped on hills surrounding the grounds, while others broke down the fences by force after refusing to pay the three pounds admission. This led to heated conflicts between the promoters (who railed bitterly against the audience from the stage), the festival's security staff (who had to deal with the many gatecrashers), the concert-goers (who were upset with both the admission price and the site's facilities, one spectator calling it "a psychedelic concentration camp"), and the performers (who had to deal with unruly audiences and the prospect of not being paid). It was estimated that 600,000 people attended the festival, but less than 50,000 actually paid to get in, spelling financial ruin for the promoters. American documentary filmmaker Murray Lerner brought a crew to record the festival on film, but thanks to the festival's bad publicity and uneven reviews, he was not able to obtain completion funds for the project until 1995, hence the presence of many musicians who had since passed away, such as Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison and Miles Davis. Message to Love: The Isle of Wight Festival examines the concert both on-stage and behind-the-scenes, capturing performances from many of the artists who appeared. We see Joni Mitchell and Kris Kristofferson angrily confronting the rowdy crowd, and The Who at the peak of their form (their full set was released as a separate film), alongside the numerous catastrophes and conflicts that dominated the festival's five days.

Mark Deming, Allmusic.com

What a concert! An artistic success–but a financial and spiritual failure. Consider who was at this 5-day summer tribal gathering at the Isle of Wight from this list of performers and judge for yourself if it was worth the price of admission: The Doors, Donovan, The Moody Blues, Leonard Cohen, Kris Kristofferson, Joni Mitchell, Miles Davis, Emerson Lake and Palmer, John Sebastien, Tiny Tim, Jimi Hendrix, Joan Baez, Free, Taste, Ten Years After, Jethro Tull and The Who.

600,000 rock fans, in 1970, voyaged by boat to the remote Isle of Wight off the southern coast of England and were ready to see the last great "rock" music festival of this millennium. The problem the promoters had was that only 50,000 people paid the three pounds (approximately $7.50 in American money) required to see the concert, the others crashed the double corrugated-iron fences even with the local police holding guard dogs to prevent the non-paying crowd from gate-crashing. The scene was an utter mess. Bad vibes prevailed as many of the stoned hippies were claiming that this was turning out to be merely a commercial venture and refused to pay, saying the concert should be free. They set up a tent city on a slope overlooking the site, calling it desolation row (a Bob Dylan record plays that song as the the credits for the film rolls on).

The artists refused to perform without getting paid first, leaving a bad taste in the mouth of the audience. Tiny Tim went out and sang a lame "There'll Always Be An England," but only after insisting he gets paid first. Jimi Hendrix was too stoned to adequately perform "Foxy Lady." Kris Kristofferson got into a snit as 'desolation row' pounded on the metal fences and walked off stage before he could finish "Me and Bobby McGee." A bloated Jim Morrison of The Doors seemed musically flat and along with Hendrix, performed their last stage concerts ever. An intruder rushes the stage during Joni Mitchell's "Woodstock" number and rattles her so much that her voice is quivering, as she attempts to talk to the crowd like a substitute teacher would to an unruly class. Joan Baez, looking out-of-place with this generation of hippies, tells the interviewer she cannot be forced into giving a free concert by the crowd. The obnoxious announcer, Rikki Farr, goes so far as to calling the crowd "pigs," wavering back and forth between cajoling and chiding them, with neither strategy doing anything but creating more bad feelings. The promoters were amateurs not knowing how to control the crowd or financially run a concert and, to the bargain, were sending off a contradictory message of love and hate. And, this for a concert that was supposed to manifest "love" and "peace."

The crowd shots showed rampant hashish smoke and psychedelic drugs being ingested, nudity, and the potential for a riot as talk among the concert goers that this was a just a "money" thing. The feelings of 'flower power' or another Woodstock, which was only one year earlier, seemed like ancient history. One of the outlandish comments from a stoned concert goer was: "This is a psychedelic concentration camp."

The director of this film had to wait 25 years after the concert to release the movie, as the promoters went belly-up. What is surprisingly good is the sound quality of the film and the high quality of the music. This film was no Woodstock, but it had a charm of its own and is certainly worth seeing not only for the music but for the history of the period.

Hostile reactions to the concert are heard from the local police who seem to detest the crowd and from a character who says he is a retired commodore in British intelligence. He proves that he probably was that, as he babbles foolishly on saying that he hates to see "the youth of the country wasting away and that behind the hippie movement is Black Power and behind them the communists."

The following are some of the things that went right with the concert: Emerson, Lake, and Palmer put on a glorious fireworks display onstage (even if the stage nearly burned down), as they were really into it as they performed "Pictures at an Exhibition." John Sebastien had the hippie drug culture mood down pat, as he related well to the crowd, singing "Red Eye Express." The Moody Blues sang a great rendition of "White Satin." Leonard Cohen was his usual sardonic and sobering poetic self, as he sang "Suzanne." All this in a concert that signaled the end of an era and the dark Nixon days that lie ahead, with the Vietnam War continuing and the mood of the youthful generations of both Great Britain and America, becoming even more polarized from the mainstream and those who were pro-war.

Review by Dennis Schwartz: " Ozus' World Movie Reviews"


Message to Love - The Isle of Wight Festival 1970: The Movie (1997) [Re-Up]

Message to Love - The Isle of Wight Festival 1970: The Movie (1997) [Re-Up]

Message to Love - The Isle of Wight Festival 1970: The Movie (1997) [Re-Up]

Message to Love - The Isle of Wight Festival 1970: The Movie (1997) [Re-Up]

Message to Love - The Isle of Wight Festival 1970: The Movie (1997) [Re-Up]

Message to Love - The Isle of Wight Festival 1970: The Movie (1997) [Re-Up]

Message to Love - The Isle of Wight Festival 1970: The Movie (1997) [Re-Up]

Message to Love - The Isle of Wight Festival 1970: The Movie (1997) [Re-Up]

Message to Love - The Isle of Wight Festival 1970: The Movie (1997) [Re-Up]

Message to Love - The Isle of Wight Festival 1970: The Movie (1997) [Re-Up]

Message to Love - The Isle of Wight Festival 1970: The Movie (1997) [Re-Up]

Message to Love - The Isle of Wight Festival 1970: The Movie (1997) [Re-Up]

Message to Love - The Isle of Wight Festival 1970: The Movie (1997) [Re-Up]


Performances:

01. Programme Start
02. Introduction
03. Jimi Hendrix - Message To Love
04. The Who - Young Man Blues
05. Free - All Right Now
06. Taste - Sinner Boy
07. Tiny Tim - There'll Always Be An England
08. John Sebastian - Red Eye Express
09. Donovan - Catch The Wind
10. Ten Years After - I Can't Keep From Crying Sometimes
11. Desolation Row
12. The Doors - When The Music's Over
13. The Moody Blues - Nights In White Satin
14. Kris Kristofferson - Me & Bobby McGee
15. Joni Mitchell - Woodstock
16. Joni Mitchell - Big Yellow Taxi
17. Miles Davis - Call It Anything
18. Leonard Cohen - Suzanne
19. Emerson, Lake & Palmer - Pictures At An Exhibition
20. Jimi Hendrix - Machine Gun
21. Jimi Hendrix - Voodoo Child (Slight Return)
22. Joan Baez - Let It Be
23. Jethro Tull - My Sunday Feeling
24. No Fences
25. The Doors - The End
26. Amazing Grace
27. Jimi Hendrix - Foxy Lady
28. The Who - Naked Eye
29. The Last Great Event
30. End Credits


All thanks to original releaser - alekow

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