Jimi Plays Berkeley (1971)
“He can’t say anything to me; I just feel it, you know?”
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
The film opens with Jimi riding to his venue while an unseen commentator describes him as someone who lives for his music, and feels his audiences deeply.
Next we’re shown footage of peaceful protesters in Berkeley refusing to pay $3.50 to see Woodstock (1970) — a film, one argues, that they (the people) made.
But the bulk of the short documentary consists of Jimi playing, once even using his teeth (his virtuosity here must be seen to be believed):
In between, we see footage of increasingly violent protests taking place across the city:
… but we return again and again to Jimi himself on stage:
… cross-cut with audience reactions, including these two impossibly-young-seeming front-row fans:
Film fanatics with a particular interest in Hendrix will surely want to check this concert movie out, though others may be content simply to see his iconic performances in Monterey Pop (1968) or Woodstock (1970).
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
One thought on “Jimi Plays Berkeley (1971)”
First viewing. For Hendrix fans only.
At 48 minutes, this ultimately isn’t that much of a concert film – mainly since time doesn’t allow for Hendrix to play all that much; though he does throw himself into what we see with his singular legendary style (the effect of which is a matter of taste).
Wikipedia lists 10 concert films and 14 documentaries covering Hendrix (oddly, the song lists for them are largely similar) but, yes, for the average film fanatic ‘Monterey Pop’ and ‘Woodstock’ are likely to suffice.