Festival! Murray Lerner

Footage from this long-lost documentary made for some of the most compelling scenes in Martin Scorsese’s No Direction Home. From 1963 to 1966, Murray Lerner chronicled the annual Newport Folk Festival to create this remarkable Oscar-nominated film. Lerner’s efforts earned the public extraordinary access to performances by legends like Joan Baez, Johnny Cash, Howlin’ Wolf, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Pete Seeger, Son House, Mississippi John Hurt and Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee, among others. No scene is as significant as Bob Dylan’s mythical first electric performance in ’65, but young festival-goers will be amazed by how much Newport’s atmosphere (i.e., hippies jamming on hand drums, stars engaging in workshops, etc.) continues to resonate today. (Eagle Rock)