Last weekend was my kind of weekend. Two days, two movies. Both documentaries. Both about music. Last Sunday’s film, “Greenwich Village: Music That Defined a Generation”, is all about the Village in the early 60’s. When it was a hub of creativity and social consciousness.
As a kid, as soon as I knew I wanted to work in advertising (at about 12 years old), I set my sights on moving to New York and living in Greenwich Village. I never did, although I could have. Guess I didn’t want to, badly enough.
Regardless, it’s a place I’ve always gravitated to, even now. And watching the movie I know I would have loved being there. Still would, probably. Although, truthfully, I would have been too young to leave home then. It was slightly before my time.
Thank God something was before my time. Some days I feel like it was Adam and Eve and then me.
As we learn in the movie, on Sundays everyone congregated in the park at Washington Square. That was the meeting place, where the likes of Judy Collins, Tom Paxton, Pete Seeger, Kris Kristofferson, Arlo Guthrie, Buffy St. Marie, Carly Simon and a very young Bob Dylan first sang their songs.
That is, until the city passed a noise ordinance. Which resulted in a protest and a lot of arrests.
Which was to become a sign of the times.
The film’s narrative comes from Suze Rotolo’s (a one-time Dylan girlfriend) book, “A Freewheelin’ Time: A Memoir Of Greenwich Village In The Sixties”, narrated by Susan Sarandon, an activist in her own right. This is interspersed with interviews with many of the artists of ‘the day’. One of my favourites was Jose Feliciano, who did a very funny Dylan impersonation.
There’s also enough ‘performance’ footage to make you feel like you’ve attended a concert. The director also managed to get her hands on some great archival footage, including the protest resulting from the Continue reading