The first Newport Folk Festivals took place in 1959 and 1960 and were the result of a collaboration between Newport Jazz Festival producer George Wein and Albert Grossman, who at the time were partners in music and artist management. After a few years’ hiatus and Wein and Grossman parting ways, the festival was reprised in 1963, only this time Wein enlisted the help of Pete Seeger. Seeger agreed on the condition that all the artists be paid the same fee of $50, regardless of their level of popularity. It would be a nonprofit venture, with the proceeds going toward the preservation and support of folk music.
Before Festival was released in 1967, Lerner had made a name for himself with both documentaries and commercials. A film commissioned by Yale University, Lerner’s To Be a Man (1966) played on PBS affiliate stations across the country and was featured in Time magazine. His commercial and industrial films for big companies such as Firestone and Gulf earned him enough money to purchase the 16 mm camera and audio equipment he needed to shoot Festival.
With Festival, instead of aiming to tell a story, Lerner set out to make juxtapositions that would create meaning for the viewer, adopting ideas about montage from Sergei Eisenstein’s essay “The Cinematographic Principle and the Ideogram.”
10 Things I Learned: The Gunfighter
The producer of our edition of Henry King’s brooding western shares interesting facts he uncovered about the veteran director’s career, the origin of the film’s protagonist, and a Bob Dylan song inspired by its story line.
10 Things I Learned: Town Bloody Hall
The producer of our edition of Chris Hegedus and D. A. Pennebaker’s landmark documentary shares what she learned about the galvanizing figures at the center of the film.
10 Things I Learned: The War of the Worlds
As Criterion producer Karen Stetler learned while working on our new edition, this adaptation of H. G. Wells’s sci-fi novel was a career milestone for a wide range of talent, from director Byron Haskin to feline performer Orangey.
10 Things I Learned: Scorsese Shorts
The films showcased in our new collection of early works by Martin Scorsese are deeply influenced by the director’s life in New York City and the experiences of his family and friends.
You have no items in your shopping cart