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© Pennebaker Hegedus Films
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Donn Alan Pennebaker, Chris Hegedus

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Pennebaker Hegedus Films

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Pennebaker Hegedus Films

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A unique snapshot of Janis Joplin with Big Brother and the Holding Company performing at the Generation Club at a memorial for Martin Luther King, recording their first major album, “Cheap Thrills” and at the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival performing their legendary “Ball and Chain.” “Joplin belonged to that select group of pop figures who mattered as much for themselves as for their music; among American rock performers she was second only to Bob Dylan in importance as a creator-recorder-embodiment of her generation’s history and mythology. She was also the only woman to achieve that kind of stature in what was basically a male club, the only sixties culture hero to make visible and public women’s experience of the quest for individual liberation, which was very different from men’s. If Janis’s favorite metaphors - singing as f***ing (a first principle of rock-and-roll) and fucking as liberation (a first principle of the cultural revolution) - were equally approved by her male peers, the congruence was only on the surface. Underneath - just barely - lurked a feminist (or pre-feminist) paradox.” (Ellen Willis, The New Yorker)