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Glastonbury

David Bowie returns
By PEG ALOI  |  April 4, 2007
3.5 3.5 Stars
070403_inside_glastonbury
GIMME A BEAT: Glastonbury music festival caught on film.

Julien Temple’s documentary traces the evolution of the world’s most iconoclastic music festival. In 1970, on a field near the sacred site of Glastonbury Tor, a new-age pilgrim’s destination associated with druids, King Arthur, and Joseph of Arimathea, 1500 people paid a pound each to hear bands play. Now crowds number 300,000 a year and pay 200 times that. Early concerns like drugs, nudity, and free love have given way to the modern demons of crime, pollution, and surveillance. (Watch Joe Strummer attack a camera with his mic stand.) Temple edited 900 hours of new and archival footage (including Nicolas Roeg’s 1972 film Glastonbury Fayre) into an eclectic, non-linear narrative: golden-lit frolicking hippies meld with glowstick-wearing yahoos. Brief glimpses of concertgoers’ theatrics, protests, and ecstasy accompany performances ranging from Richie Havens, Melanie, and the Velvet Underground to Björk, Morrissey, and Radiohead, plus David Bowie returning after a 30 year absence.
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