In the late fifties and early sixties, the Newport Folk Festival became a haven for audiences who were craving a message in their music. Reacting against the lyrically frivolous pop that dominated the airwaves, the artists showcased at the festival offered candid perspectives on a wide range of provocative subject matter, giving voice to the tumult of the times. Shot between 1963 and 1966, and released in 1967, Murray Lerner’s Festival—one of the first major music documentaries of its kind—captures the political conscience of this dynamic folk scene through performances by stars as varied as Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, Howlin’ Wolf, Johnny Cash, the Staple Singers, and Pete Seeger. In the below clip from When We Played Newport, a program on our newly released edition of the film, Lerner, Newport founder George Wein, and some of the festival’s most beloved performers reflect on how folk music became a vital reflection of the era’s burgeoning counterculture movement and its ideals of social equality and creative expression.
A Subtler Side of the Hepburn-Grant Magic
Filmmaker and distributor Michael Schlesinger and critic Michael Sragow dive into the pleasures of Holiday, a romantic-comedy classic that has long stood in the shadow of The Philadelphia Story but has a poignancy all its own.
Wim Wenders Looks Back on the Digital Future He Predicted
From search engines to all-engrossing handheld devices, the technologies that the German director conjured for his 1991 opus Until the End of the World are now common features of contemporary life.
John Bailey Breaks Down a Tour de Force of Gothic Lighting
The veteran cinematographer takes a close look at the highly stylized and atmospheric lighting in one of the most pivotal scenes in pre-Code classic The Story of Temple Drake.
All About Mankiewicz
One of the most celebrated Hollywood writer-directors of his time, Joseph L. Mankiewicz offers a window into the way he sees his characters in this illuminating clip from an archival interview.