Saturday, August 29, 2009

Elliot Tiber: The gay guy 'who saved Woodstock'

Brokeback Mountain director, Ang Lee's new film is called Taking Woodstock and it's based on Elliot Tiber’s 2007 memoir, Taking Woodstock: A True Story of a Riot, a Concert and a Life. In a new interview with Tiber (pictured above), writer Mike Vokins notes: "Ang Lee definitely has a thing for Americana and the gays. The director of Wedding Banquet and Brokeback Mountain has his latest fare depicting the summer of 1969, which saw Stonewall’s uprising as well as one of the world’s most defining music festivals, Woodstock."

Mike Vokins writes:
Tiber is now celebrated as “the man who saved Woodstock.” When festival organizers were ousted from their original venue weeks before the event, Tiber came through with a permit and his neighbour’s huge farm in Bethel, New York. The film follows his behind-the-scenes experiences with an interesting business take on the weekend of free love and harmony.

In a phone interview with Tiber from his place in New York I get the skinny on how the little-memoir-to-big-feature all went down. Tiber and Lee met when they were both guests on a San Francisco talk show while the director was promoting Lust, Caution. “I feel like I won the lottery,” Tiber says excitedly, noting the film stuck very closely to the book. “When [Lee] first said he wanted to do the film I said, ‘It’s a condition that before we start is that you don’t change it to just a young man who saved Woodstock,’” says Tiber. “It had to be clear that it’s a gay man. That’s very important to me. And he said, ‘There’s no question. I did Brokeback Mountain.’” READ MORE