Ang Lee | Elliot Tiber | Film | News

Ang Lee to Make Film About Gay Woodstock Figure Elliot Tiber

Tiber_2Ang Lee has set up another film with Focus Features, the studio behind Brokeback Mountain, this one based on the memoir Taking Woodstock: A True Story of a Riot, a Concert, and a Life by Elliot Tiber, with Tom Monte.

Taking Woodstock tells the story of Tiber (right, today), a gay interior designer, part-time Catskills hotel manager and head of the Bethel, N.Y., Chamber of Commerce, and his role in facilitating the Woodstock Festival, providing the permit that made the Festival possible, as well as the eventual location on his milkman Max Yasgur's farm.

According to MSNBC, "The project is set up at Focus Features, and will be adapted by the studio's CEO, James Schamus. Lee and Schamus' most recent collaboration was Focus' Chinese-language drama "Lust, Caution," which earned $66 million worldwide."

The Miami Herald recently interviewed Tiber and Monte about the memoir as Tiber was screening his "docu-comedy" Woodstock: Ticket to Freedom (watch a clip, AFTER THE JUMP) in South Florida:

Tiber69"The result was a sprawling 575-page manuscript Tiber tried for years to condense. 'I just couldn't do it,' [Tiber] says. So he worked with Tom Monte, an author best known for books on healing. In an odd way, it was a perfect pairing. Monte kept the focus on Woodstock and on Tiber. 'My work was about finding the heroic in Elliot and putting that on the page,' Monte says. It wasn't hard. The Tiber of Woodstock days 'had an amazing amount of energy. He worked so hard and he was an incredibly creative man doing everything he could think of to keep his parents out of the poorhouse and keep that hotel alive. He was also really smart,' says Monte. 'Bethel was not the great metropolis -- it was pretty sleepy, pretty backward. It wasn't doing anything for itself. Elliot brought the great spaceship Woodstock to Bethel. If it were not for Elliot, it would not have happened.'"

AFTER THE JUMP, watch a clip of Tiber's docu-comedy Woodstock: Ticket to Freedom.

Ang Lee, Focus trek to 'Woodstock' [hollywood reporter]
Ang Lee to make gay Woodstock film [msnbc]
The man who brought us Woodstock: Elliot Tiber [miami herald]
(image: jared lazarus, miami herald)

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  1. Jeez, when I saw the headline about a "Gay Woodstock" movie, I thought, "I didn't know the little bird from the 'Peanuts' comic stip was gay." And then I read the story ... either way, I'm in! Lulu B.

    Posted by: Why We Love The Gays | Apr 22, 2008 6:48:53 PM

  2. Is Mr. Lee gay?

    In addition to directing, he also appeared in the gay film, "The Wedding Banquet."

    Posted by: Marc in Chicago | Apr 22, 2008 11:50:42 PM

  3. No, he's straight, with wife and children.

    I'm very happy to hear that Ang Lee is on track to make another movie, but what makes this a "gay-themed" film as described in the MSNBC article? The memoir on which the film is based doesn't sound like it has particularly strong gay content, other than the fact that the protagonist swings our way. The story seems to be more focused on the organization of Woodstock. If someone made a move about me, with a slant on my professional life, would it be "gay-themed"? (I don't think I have enough sex to make it all that juicy.)

    In any case, I'm thrilled that Ang Lee is helming another film; and yet again, so different from anything he's ever done before. I recently watched a string of his films - "Eat Drink Man Woman," "Sense and Sensibility," and the powerful "Lust/Caution" - and I'm amazed by his versatility and the generosity he shows his characters. The man makes very fine films.

    Posted by: Doomed to be Fabulous | Apr 23, 2008 12:51:24 AM

  4. Love Ang Lee! Love his choice of films and this sounds like another winner! And anything with even a hint of gay is crazed over by the mainstream media, they love the sin hate the sinner, metaphorically of course (we're not sinners).

    Posted by: junior | Apr 23, 2008 11:02:58 AM

  5. the important thing is that Ang Lee is making a film about a gay man in which his sexuality has nothing to do with the film's main issues. That is progress. The media will need a few more dozen films like this before it stops acting "crazed". And not many come to mind from the past.
    But great points, you both made me think.

    Posted by: timr | Apr 23, 2008 3:45:28 PM

  6. It's too bad they're sold on that "nobody" to play him. They should've cast the guy from the Sci-Fi mini-series "Tin Man", Neal McDonough is a deadringer (no pun intended) for the actual person.

    Posted by: Jon A. Leslie | May 2, 2008 5:50:32 PM

  7. Ang Lee is indeed a stellar director. Does anyone have some info on this: Jeffry Dean Morgan is in Taking Woodstock. I wondered why they wasted him on a tiny role. Then I read that his character was the secret lover of the lead character played by Demetri Martin. Their love scene, sadly, was edited out...! I loved the movie, but that scene would have made me love it more...

    Posted by: towlebart | Sep 7, 2009 3:48:59 PM

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