Sundance Film Festival - 01/23/06
Julien Temple, director of Glastonbury
Had to wake up early-ish again, but this was for a good reason. I actually had a ticket in hand for Julien Temple's movie Glastonbury. I had just a short walk down the street to the Holiday Village Theatre, where I had waited unsuccessfully to get a ticket for Wordplay the day before.
Grabbed a coffee and muffin at the nearby Albertson's and by the time I got back to the line it was nearly time to go in. Got my seat and settled in after peeling off multiple layers.
I enjoyed the film a lot. It's a history of the festival as well as a survey of acts, mainly from the last few years. Temple shot the festival from 2002-2005, but also go access to archival footage going back to the beginning. It's not the most in-depth of documentaries, there are not long expository interviews about the history and meaning of the festival, but the on-the-fly discussions with farmer and festival founder Michael Eavis give one a good idea of where the festival came from and what it's all about.
Temple eschews sit-down interviews and titling to identify performers and time frames, but as he described in the post-screening Q&A, he wanted the film to be as from the festival-goers' perspective as possible. Along those lines, he has included lots of footage shot by fans. He also focuses on popular British acts, though foreigners like Cyprus Hill show up, as do plenty of acts who've made it big on this side of the Atlantic, such as David Bowie, Coldplay, Bjork, Joe Strummer, Morrissey and The Prodigy.
In addition to excluding titling, he also uses moving images exclusively. While I'm sure there's a wealth of still images available, again Temple wanted to keep the subjects moving, as one would experience were one there on the Salisbury plain in late July.
Besides the musical acts, there's plenty of screen time given to the fans who attend, who are just as much part of the spectacle and experience as the musicians are. The costumed characters, the drunken yobs, the Travelers and the everyday folk make up a crazy mosaic that's as entertaining as the music.
Sightings: Rosie O'Donnell, Ethan Suplee (My Name is Earl and festival premiere Art School Confidential) and John Malkovich
Movies: Glastonbury, Art School Confidential
Weather: Still cold and clear.