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Year: 2006 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: Unknown 
Certificate: BBFC 15 Cert – Not suitable for under 15s 
Subtitles: The level of subtitling in this film is unknown to WSC 
Directed by Unknown 
Starring: Unknown  
An image from Glastonbury

Director: Julien Temple

Starring: David Bowie, Nick Cave, Michael Eavis, Steven Patrick Morrissey

In 2002, organiser Michael Eavis feared that licensing problems might spell the end of Glastonbury festival and approached director Julien Temple to document its history. Four years and 700 hours of footage later, this is the result. It is essentially a collage of performances – both mainstream and alternative, home videos, interviews with Eavis, outtakes from Nicolas Roeg’s film of the first concert in 1971 and sometimes hilarious footage of festival-goers. Considering this is the condensation of over 30 years worth of festival, the film is rampacked with legendary and spine tingling moments.

The film also interestingly charts the social development of the festival, from the well recognised early years of peace and love through the gradual growth in corporate influence to the point now that for every idealistic ounce of communal spirit is a compromise forced by commercialism. There are still the glimpses of crazy outfits and hippy love but it has become a much more mainstream event. The clips of performances alone are woth seeing the film for; artists including Coldplay, Scissor Sisters, Radiohead, Blur, Foo Fighters, Fun Lovin' Criminals, David Bowie, Goldfrapp, Kaiser Chiefs, The Killers, Nick Cave, REM, The White Stripes, Velvet Underground, Morrissey, Faithless, Prodigy, Primal Scream, Billy Bragg, Cypress Hill, Babyshambles, (the fantastic fabulous) Levellers, David Gray, Bjork, Stereo MCs, Chemical Brothers, Pulp, Beck, The Dandy Warhols, Moby and James Brown….and many many more.

As the festival is taking a break this year, this provides the perfect substitute experience. For those who have been in the past, the film has an amazing familiarity that completely sucks you in, but even if you haven’t it immediately transport you into a feel-good world where music is life and will guarantee you would die for a ticket next time round. My fave bit…the closing montage, soundtracked by David Bowie’s anthem Heroes cannot fail to move you.

Hannah Upton

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Screenings of this film:

2006/2007 Autumn Term (35mm)
2006/2007 Autumn Term (35mm)