Ang Lee's Taking Woodstok

"Oscar-winning director Ang Lee (Brokeback Mountain, The Ice Storm) and his producer partner James Schamus are dialing back to 1969 in their current project Taking Woodstock. Based on a true story, Demetri Martin stars as interior designer Elliot Tiber, who inadvertently played a pivotal role in Woodstock when he offered his family’s Catskills hotel to organizers as a home base, while his neighbor Max Yasgur (Eugene Levy) offered his farm. The eclectic cast also includes Liev Schreiber, Paul Dano, Emile Hirsch and Zoe Kazan. “The cast is insanely fresh,” producer James Schamus told “It’s an amazing bunch of people. You look around and I can’t believe we’re getting away with this.”
The project marks a departure from the bleak territory that Lee has traditionally stalked. “We’ve had some very intense movies,” said Schamus, who adapted the screenplay for Taking Woodstock from a book by Elliot Tiber and Tom Monte. “This is about play and fun and has hopeful spirit.” And with two noted comedians in the leads, it promises to be funny. You can partially thank the producer’s young daughter for casting of Martin, the shaggy mop-topped comic whose few screen credits include guesting on Flight of the Conchords and The Daily Show. Schamus and his daughter had been casually scouting YouTube for talent and came across a clip of Martin’s mellowed-out act. “It was a chance for me to be a really hip dad, so I mentioned him,” Schamus said. “He’s great and really funny. What’s interesting is that he’s like a tsunami underneath calm water.”

As for the music, Schamus and Lee are trying to avoid cliches while still honoring time-tested material. “Ang and I are score-oriented,” Schamus said. “It’s in the early stages, but I can tell you it’s not going to the be the usual collection of obvious needle drops. It will be of the time, and of the spirit of the time. It’s whatever works dramatically.”

Taking Woodstock aims to reflect the social unrest of the 1960s, but also mirrors modern times, complete with a “disastrous imperial war and a corrupt government and people struggling to express themselves.” Source:

''The mud's pretty cold,'' says Emile Hirsch, explaining what it's like on the upstate New York set of Ang Lee's Taking Woodstock, a behind-the-scenes look at how the 1969 music fest came together. ''It's later in the year than it was during Woodstock [which actually took place in August]. We were all shivering, and we had these silver-foil space blankets that miraculously keep you really warm.'' But they don't keep you clean: ''I did a Superman slide down a hill, and started turning on my back,'' he says with glee". Source:

"Taiwan-born film director and Oscar winner Ang Lee is tackling a new movie project, a comedy this time, about America’s famous Woodstock music festival in 1969. Titled “Taking Woodstock”, and adapted by longtime Lee collaborator James Schamus, the movie stems from a book of the same name by U.S. writer Elliot Tiber.
Tiber’s memoir, co-written with Tom Monte, was published with in 2007 and subtitled “A True Story of a Riot, a Concert, and a Life”.

It’s set for a premiere in New York on June 26, 2009, just in time for the 40th anniversary of the famous Woodstock concert .

What does the title of the book, and the movie mean? Inquiring minds on both sides of the Pacific want to know, and one industry insider told Rush PR News what he knows.

“Taking Woodstock’” means two things: Taking stock of your life and, in a sense, control of your destiny — and also taking the experience of Woodstock, and what that cultural event meant, with you for the rest of your life, according to the industry insider. A marketing maven at the publishing house in New York came up with the phrase, he added".