Festival Express [2 Discs] [DVD] [2003]

The concert documentary Festival Express debuts on DVD with a widescreen anamorphic transfer that preserves the original theatrical aspect ratio of 1.85:1. English soundtracks are rendered in both Dolby Digital 5.1 and Dolby Digital Surround. English and Spanish subtitles are accessible. Supplemental materials include a making-of featurette, extended interviews with some of the performers, a still photo gallery, and the theatrical trailer. This is an outstanding presentation of an enjoyable film.
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Overview

Special Features

  • Feature film presented in widescreen
  • Off the Tracks: Over 50 minutes of never-before-seen footage
  • Train hopping
  • Chugging Along: Extended interviews
  • Derailed: The making of Festival Express
  • Trainspotting: Photo gallery
  • Last stop: Theatrical trailer
  • Closed Captioned

Synopsis

Festival Express
In 1970, with seemingly every North American city of any size holding a rock festival after the success of Woodstock, Ken Walker and Thor Eaton, a pair of Canadian entrepreneurs and music buffs, had an idea: instead of setting up one massive show with a bunch of top-name acts, why not stage a series of them across the country? With this in mind, Walker (then only 22 years old) and Eaton (whose family owned one of Canada's most successful department store chains) signed up Janis Joplin, the Grateful Dead, the Band, Buddy Guy, the Flying Burrito Brothers, and several others and hired out a private train that would carry the musicians in high style for a string of five shows from Toronto to Calgary. The jaunt was called "The Festival Express," and a camera crew tagged along to capture the shows on film, as well as the constant party that took place en route. The tour proved to be a financial bust and, as a result, the footage sat on the shelf for over thirty years until director Bob Smeaton recut the material into Festival Express, which not only documents the glorious folly of the tour, but offers a hindsight look at the events from some of the surviving participants. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

Cast & Crew

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