The Grateful Dead (1977)
PG | 131 min | Documentary, Music | 2 June 1977 (USA)
Presented on July 3rd @ 5 PM to 10 PM
Directors: Jerry Garcia, Leon Gast
Stars: Jerry Garcia, Donna Godchaux, Keith Godchaux, Mickey Hart, Bill Kreutzmann, Phil Lesh, Bob Weir
The Grateful Dead performs live at Winterland in San Francisco in October 1974.
"There is nothing like a Grateful Dead concert" was a saying popular among Deadheads, as the loyal fans of the band are known. During their performances, the Dead valued musical improvisation, jamming extensively, and they changed their set lists nightly. As a result, their music was best appreciated at live concerts. But beyond that, Dead shows generally had a positive, happy atmosphere, as the band and the audience interacted with each other to create a special environment of musical celebration. Capturing this phenomenon on film is the admittedly paradoxical goal of The Grateful Dead Movie.
To document the Grateful Dead experience, the film showcases the fans much more than is usual in a concert movie. Sometimes they are shown enjoying the show, and in other scenes they discuss the music and the band, and what it is like to be a Deadhead. The film also includes interviews with members of the Dead, and vintage footage from the early days of the band showing some of their colorful history. Also featured, especially at the beginning of the movie, are animated scenes of icons from Grateful Dead art such as the Uncle Sam skeleton. This psychedelic inspired animation was created by Gary Gutierrez, using some techniques that he developed specifically for this project. All these elements combine to make The Grateful Dead Movie much more than just a concert film.