The Film Archive celebrates rock and roll icon Jimi Hendrix’s 70th birthday, November 27th. We will be screening a documentary of Hendrix’s legendary set at Woodstock, along with a short selection of New Zealand music videos capturing the late 1960s scene here.
We encourage attendees to dress in the spirit of the ‘60s for the Friday screening. There will be prizes for the grooviest costumes.
"Jimi Hendrix Live at Woodstock" (57 min, USA, 1969) documents Hendrix’s headlining appearance at the most famous music festival in rock and roll history. The documentary shows Hendrix performing early hits, including “Purple Haze,” “Foxy Lady,” and “Fire,” as well as jamming in a looser, more experimental mode as in his sped-up version of "Voodoo Child (Slight Return).”
His Woodstock performance of “The Star-Spangled Banner,” which was taken by late 1960s commentators as anti-Vietnam War statement, has gone down in pop culture history.
“Hendrix’s psychedelic rendition of the U.S. national anthem, ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ occurred about 3/4 into their set, (after which he morphed into ‘Purple Haze’). The song had actually been part of his set for a year and he had already performed it on at least three different occasions. During the number, Hendrix used feedback and sustain on his guitar to recreate the sound of wails and falling rockets.” - soulofsydney.org
“Introduced [at Woodstock] as the Jimi Hendrix Experience, Hendrix quickly corrects that to Gypsy Sun and Rainbows, with original drummer Mitch Mitchell and new bassist Billy Cox augmented by two percussionists and a second guitarist (all three are for the most part inaudible, subsumed in the great sonic wash of Hendrix’s wailing guitar and Mitchell’s thrashing drums).” - Sam Graham, amazon.com
“Jimi Hendrix: ‘Are You Experienced’? Better still, are you an experience? In rock today, it’s the sensation that counts to the exclusion of almost all formal qualities. Together with much contemporary American art, it is desperately and doomedly romantic, in full retreat from rationality, form and inner coherence. The mind exists only to be blown - like the brains of a Vietcong suspect at a police chief’s trigger finger.” - Craig McGregor, New York Times, 5 April 1970
The Film Archive screening will tap into the frenzied state of rock and roll during the 1960s and 1970s - in New Zealand as well as the United States. A short programme of New Zealand music videos from the late 1960s will precede the screening of "Jimi Hendrix Live at Woodstock."
The Jimi Hendrix birthday screening programme will run for a week, with screenings at 7pm on Wednesday 28, Thursday 29, Friday 30 November (‘60s costume evening) and Saturday 1 December.
Prize categories for the costumes will include: “best Jimi Hendrix look-alike,” “most psychedelic” and “widest flares.”