Mar 24, 2012

They're going to put me in the movies


 'In 1968, while meditating with the Maharishi in India, John Lennon was seized by a great idea. The Beatles had been looking for a third film with which to follow up the success of A Hard Day’s Night and Help!. How about an adaptation of J R R Tolkien’s The Lord of the RingsMcCartney could play the hero Frodo, Ringo his devoted sidekick Sam, George Harrison would make a great Gandalf and who else for the grasping Gollum but Lennon himself? Hadn’t he already warned against the siren pull of all-powerful rings (“I'll buy you a diamond ring my friend / If it makes you feel all right”) in Can’t Buy Me LoveAccounts differ as to what happened to the project. According to director Peter Jackson, who brought his own version of The Lord of the Rings to the screen in 2001, it was J R R Tolkien who nixed the idea. According to Apple film chief Dennis O’Dell, McCartney and Lennon approached Stanley Kubrick to direct the film, having lunch with the director at EMI studios, where he told them the book was “unfilmable”. The Beatles turned instead to making Magical Mystery Tour, pilfering some left-over cloud footage from Kubrick’s Dr Strangelove for a sequence depicting an acid trip. 
It’s hard to imagine Buddy Holly or Elvis taking a meeting with Stanley Kubrick to discuss film projects. Pop acts had broken into the movies before, but The Beatles were the first to establish the idea of a multi-platform ‘brand’ which is still the Holy Grail of today’s entertainment industry. The Beatles were good at the movies for the same reason they were good at being Beatles: they were each gifted collaborators, their four-way synergy an echo of the rough, collaborative magic that powers the film business. If anyone was going to get the movies it was going to be the band with two lead singers, three song-writers and a drummer who was also a star. 
Of the five films the band made together, A Hard Day’s Night (1964) is definitely the jewel in the crown — “the Citizen Kane of jukebox movies” in the words of critic Andrew Sarris, and certainly the only rock musical with an Oscar-nominated script. Writer Alun Owen spent a day with the Beatles in Dublin in 1963, when their touring schedule was at its most chaotic, catching perfectly the mix of sarcasm, wordplay and absurdism with which the Beatles twitted their fame: “How did you find America?” “Just turn left at Greenland.” The band would experiment with surrealism throughout their film career, from the Dadaist cut-up of Magical Mystery Tour to the child-like vers libre of Yellow Submarine, but arguably their instincts for the absurd were at their sharpest when recording the day-to-day existence of being a Beatle, Dick Lester’s scuffed black-and-white photography capturing a Beatles-eye view of Beatlesmania which threw the conventions of the rock musical up in the air and made a dash for it — into the future, to MTV, and the faux-documentary aesthetic of reality TV. 
Help! (1965) cost twice as much — “like ordering up your holidays” said McCartney of the Bond-like fly-past of exotic locations — but felt out-of kilter with the band’s mood, the title track a howl of anguish from an increasingly out-of-it Lennon: “I was fat and depressed and crying out for help.” Magical Mystery Tour (1967) remains “the only film to have been written, financed, produced and directed by a pop group,” writes Bob Neaverson in The Beatles Movies, and that dearth of collaborators — and, as it turned out, appreciative audiences — tells you all you need to know about the film, a slipshod psychedelic collage which seemed intent on effecting a divorce between the Beatles and their public. Interestingly, it was Yellow Submarine (1968), a project which the group shunned initially as a cash-in for kids, that retapped the Beatles unique blend of innocence and subversion — which restored their ‘brand’. Even though the band were dubbed by actors, the film’s mash-up of Op Art exuberance and fond Edwardiana made the strongest case yet for the Beatles being the missing link in English comedy between The Goons and The Pythons. 
Monty Python’s Flying Circus began broadcasting just as the Beatles broke up. Ringo made a brief cameo in a 1972 edition of the show, which Paul McCartney used to stop recording sessions to watch; and it was ex-Python Eric Idle with whom George Harrison teamed to produce Time Bandits, The Life of Brian and The Meaning of Life, the two men’s fond, sparky collaboration captured in the recent Martin Scorsese documentary about Harrison, Living in the Material World. 
Not all post-Beatles collaborations were so blessed. Dogs still bark at Ringo Starr’s appearance alongside Harry Nilsson in the 1974 horror spoof Son of Dracula, and they curl up whimpering in the corner when shown VHS copies of 1984’s Give My Regards to Broad Street Paul McCartney’s portrait of the artist as groovy billionaire. The Beatles seem to have been unusually dependent on finding collaborators — Eric Idle, Dick Lester — who reignited something of the old four-way electricity they enjoyed together. There is no sweeter moment in the Beatles oeuvre than the scene in A Hard Day’s Night where the band enjoy a quiet game of Euchre in the baggage car while singing ‘I Should Have Known Better.’ They don’t break into song, in the usual, slightly awkward Let’s-put-the-show-on-here segues of jukebox movies. They just play cards, not even bothering to lip-sync, as if the song were just a daydream. And then, after a few bars, they gently slip into it, the way you slip into a pair of old slippers, or conversation with a friend.' 
— my piece about The Beatles on film for Newsweek

29 comments:

  1. Start a gardens file (if you don't already have one). metal tools should be cleaned and additionally coated with a gentle oil to prevent rusting.

    My web page - imprezy integracyjne

    ReplyDelete
  2. Usually Kauai holiday vacation home rental can be acquired
    in the locality of these seashores. One of the most admired destinations in the vicinity is Thailand.


    Here is my website ... agencja detektywistyczna warszawa

    ReplyDelete
  3. Plus, inverter costs will have to lose to ten nickels per watt.
    Another option is to try sunshine to earn domestic hot sea water within the housing.



    Feel free to visit my weblog; ochrona obiektów lublin

    ReplyDelete
  4. In some things, it's possible to settle a claim with the corporate's
    insurance company. Different mistake can possess a negative impact from the case.


    Here is my weblog kancelaria adwokacka łódź

    ReplyDelete
  5. This technology is quite similar toward stereolithography.

    Spray (recommended) a real thick layer gelcoat
    on the plug.

    Also visit my web-site :: adwokat warszawa

    ReplyDelete
  6. You can also take advantage amongst systematic training improve your skills.
    Men and women usually have a mixture of these motivations when going through
    being.

    my blog ... adwokat warszawa

    ReplyDelete
  7. When it is known as sensitive, there is really
    a need for security. These exercises are not included in sort pattern of dance moves.



    My website: adwokat warszawa

    ReplyDelete
  8. Some of you see, the companies offer unfastened shipping delivery.

    You will likely inscribe your thoughts, your one-liners on a your funny t-shirts itself.


    Take a look at my weblog ... organizacja wczasów

    ReplyDelete
  9. How many of them normally would actually lend themselves
    to sexual portrayal of Juggalettes? music is the The lord's light on everything creatures of this situation earth.

    my blog post - organizacja wczasów

    ReplyDelete
  10. Electronic advances, the legislature, and widespread group acceptance are
    improving the way.

    my webpage; organizacja wczasów

    ReplyDelete
  11. Our own wrongdoings have seemingly was the cause of Mother Nature in order to retaliate.


    My blog post - szambo betonowe

    ReplyDelete
  12. This results in huge financial amount over the lifetime of the solar
    panel device. Plus, inverter costs will have shed to ten pence per watt.


    Here is my blog post: tłumaczenia włoski Katowice

    ReplyDelete
  13. Usually, based on the location and team members, Kauai vacation
    habitat rental is want. The following exotic plantations
    make for an fantastic retreat in Kerala.

    Here is my page agencja detektywistyczna

    ReplyDelete
  14. Trinium's trucking software.can deal with both large and therefore small trucking service providers. You will find a number advantages to utilizing doing this software.

    Also visit my weblog agencja detektywistyczna

    ReplyDelete
  15. If you is successful at corrode prevention, you can be found lucky.
    Now, if this can take place with drinking the sea supply pipeline, your health is put on stake.


    My blog post; biuro detektywistyczne

    ReplyDelete
  16. Walking gives you can the ability, and that a decent thing for our business all.
    Inside of this way this particular immune system is considered to be improved and his or her functions
    are increasing.

    My blog post :: biuro detektywistyczne warszawa

    ReplyDelete
  17. Breakfast time with Santa definitely is $50 for grown people and $34
    for little ones age 2-12. With the Western a necessary part of the island is Paphos.



    Also visit my blog - usługi detektywistyczne warszawa

    ReplyDelete
  18. This research builds on most recent work done within lab.
    " said Professor Bao. (2) It definitely will shift a additional in solar power's favor as costs continue to moderate.

    Have a look at my weblog :: detektyw warszawa

    ReplyDelete
  19. It's going to help understand the cultural and behaviour patterns of locals. Earthians are unaware the Natural Legislation of Governance.

    Here is my web-site - prywatny detektyw

    ReplyDelete
  20. Most included such luminaries as the Natural Roses, the Inspiral Carpets, and the Happy Mondays.
    Usually have gotten the incorrect impression from the word "Royalty Free Music".


    My web site ... pobierowo

    ReplyDelete
  21. Yet , just recognizing as well as , praising employees
    can not enough. So what are some of the most basic aspects of profit management?


    Here is my weblog: zespół muzyczny Poznań

    ReplyDelete
  22. These happenings come to life to reward various purposes.

    You is designed to also be geared up to choose such as a number
    attached to humorous and varying designs.

    Look at my homepage; ochrona przeciwpożarowa

    ReplyDelete
  23. Your business are watching ballerina flits on the stage like one specific butterfly.

    Anomalous areas on its ground are some features to paycheck.


    My blog post: borelioza

    ReplyDelete
  24. There are 2 aspects of wedding ceremony music that need be
    addressed when contemplating your big day. But being economically poor did and never affect their cultural growth.


    Check out my blog ... candida

    ReplyDelete
  25. And also they keep specific little kids warm too.
    Should it be so, you can potentially trust them consisting of
    this job extra readily.

    Also visit my site; borelioza

    ReplyDelete
  26. Range of motion can be an exceptional way in generally to reduce difficulty at work.

    To understand ask yourself how this is done, let us incredibly first define good physical condition.


    Feel free to surf to my weblog :: historia piwa

    ReplyDelete
  27. To fill out your first question: Who creates Money on this Planet?
    The majority translation agencies would only use what is professionals to implement such work.


    My webpage; http://organizacja-wczasów.pl

    ReplyDelete
  28. Today, the Gold Sea has some of this most valuable legitimate estate in u
    . s .. What can do you love....doing precisely what activities?


    Here is my web blog: STRONA GŁÓWNA

    ReplyDelete
  29. Turn your RV toward Nashville, Tn and the Country music Hall
    of Reputation and Museum. TJ and company began writing and
    the creation of their own vouchers.

    Here is my blog: agencja detektywistyczna warszawa

    ReplyDelete