09/26/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Movie Review: Taking Woodstock

Ang Lee's Taking Woodstock is as unlikely and enjoyable a memento of that long-gone moment in the age of Aquarius as we're likely to find in this 40th anniversary year of the epochal rock festival.

Based on a memoir by writer Elliot Tiber (whose name was Teichberg when the events in the film occurred), the film celebrates one lone little man with the vision and the nerve to seize a moment and help make Woodstock happen. Without Teichberg, there might not have been a Woodstock -- as simple as that.

Yet Lee's film isn't a Woodstock movie per se. Though he recreates great swaths of the sprawling, fantastical festival, he's not looking to recreate the Woodstock experience. Rather, this is a backstage story, a personal tale that happens to be set against three days of peace and music.

Teichberg (played with deadpan restraint by comedian Demetri Martin) is a mild-mannered would-be artist in the summer of 1969 when the film begins. He lives in Greenwich Village (and apparently was present for the Stonewall Riot). But while the film delves into his own questions about his sexuality, that's not what Taking Woodstock is about either.

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