BOB SMEATON:  “FESTIVAL EXPRESS” RIDES AGAIN Image

The new film Festival Express is technically not a new film, but rather a belated attempt to finish something important which began more than three decades ago. Originally intended as a concert film companion piece to a traveling 1970 rock festival that covered Canada by rail, “Festival Express” was never completed due to conflicts involved in the post-production period. This was a major tragedy for music lovers, as the film footage contained priceless performances by the likes of the Grateful Dead, The Band and Janis Joplin (who died two months after the final Festival Express show in Calgary).

British filmmaker Bob Smeaton, who won Grammy Awards for his direction of “The Beatles Anthology” television series and the “Jimi Hendrix Band of Gypsies” documentary, helmed the effort to reassemble a movie from the 46 hours of surviving footage that could be located from this aborted production. New interviews with the surviving talent involved in the tour were also included, offering a distinct retrospective view on the giddy events of years gone.

The result is the newly released “Festival Express,” which brings the long-forgotten music extravaganza back to life. Those who recall the music when it was new will have a field day with this production, while today’s younger generation of music lovers can experience a big-screen introduction to the legendary titans of late 60s-early 70s rock ‘n’ roll.

Film Threat caught up with Bob Smeaton during his U.S. promotional tour for “Festival Express” to talk about his work on this unique project.

Get the interview in part two of BOB SMEATON: “FESTIVAL EXPRESS” RIDES AGAIN>>>

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