“Joplin’s nervy, star-making interpretation of ‘Ball ’n Chain’, which would get her and Big Brother and The Holding Company signed by Clive Davis and Columbia Records that weekend, is perhaps even more storied for providing a rounded, multifaceted experience. Pennebaker and Schulman fill the performance with so many grace notes, including the deeply funny shots of Cass Elliot sitting slack-jawed in the audience as Joplin’s cavernous growl fills the space at full volume. Just as vivid (and poignant) are the shots of Joplin’s heels getting stuck in the bell bottoms of her stretchy gold lamé pantsuit and the naked, unforgiving close-ups of Joplin’s pock-marked face, stretching and stifling with each unlikely note that Joplin nonetheless hits or, more fittingly, wrecks.”

D.A. Pennebaker’s documentary milestone Monterey Pop remains historically vital and as bracingly alive as ever. Matthew Eng explains why.

(Source: LWLies.com)