The Beatles, “Let It Be,” and “Get Back”: “Trying to Deceive”?

By |2021-10-22T09:59:45-07:00October 22, 2021|1970s, Abbey Road, Beatles Criticism, Breakup, Let It Be, Movies|

Michael G's post "Let It Be, Get Back, and History as Art" and the comments on the site have raised so many interesting points about Lindsay-Hogg's 1969 film and Peter Jackson's forthcoming one that I wanted to say a bit more about why I'm looking forward to Jackson's film, but also not expecting it to be the whole truth. A lot of that expectation derives from considering historical context, so let's get into the wayback machine for a minute. In 1975, Barclay James Harvest released the song "Titles," taken from their album "Time Honoured Ghosts." The vast majority of the song does consist [...]

Los Angeles Beatles fans: Wanna go see a movie?

By |2015-07-25T17:21:48-07:00July 20, 2015|Beatles in LA, Movies|

There's something a little anime about this poster. The Beatles flying towards you, presumably screaming One of the more dubious pleasures of our current age is the ability to meet the people who create the things you like. This streamlines the disillusionment process in ways our ancestors considered unimaginable. Imagine if John, Paul, George and Ringo could've met Elvis as impressionable teenagers in 1957, instead of getting famously underwhelmed that night in 1965. Why, there might have never been a Beatles... "Mum, did you know my English teacher Skyped with Elvis?" "I don't know if you should believe everything Mr. [...]

The Fab Files, Pt. 1: Beatles “not a seller,” says movie exec probably no longer in biz

By |2013-08-18T00:55:06-07:00August 9, 2013|Fab Files|

DEVIN McKINNEY  •  I was in the attic earlier, emptying out, so as to nominally organize, boxes containing several years' worth of Beatles clippings, magazines, newsletters, programs, and other collected print effluvia. Some of them date back 35 years or more, and I thought it would be fun to post a few of the more interesting ones. Here's a column from the Village Voice of February 7, 1995. (Click to enlarge.) Live at the BBC is recently out, as is Backbeat; the high performance of one against the non-performance of the other is the text and the tension. Interesting tangents are drawn [...]

Movie Poster of the Week: NVUJ!

By |2014-07-23T11:56:48-07:00June 25, 2013|1965, Help|

Help poster from Japan! Apparently that genial hot mess Help! is coming out on Blu-Ray next week. While looking for illustrators this evening I found a nice round-up of the various posters for the film. These two are just a sample if the many HELP posters; if you like graphic design, it's definitely worth a look. Help poster from France! Really, guys, none of these posters are necessary. You had me at Eleanor Bron. :-)

I’ve got a love-uh-ly bunch of coconuts

By |2014-07-23T11:58:33-07:00August 22, 2012|1967|

DEVIN McKINNEY  •  The news comes through this morning that Magical Mystery Tour is to be released in remastered form on DVD and BluRay on October 9 in North America, a day earlier everywhere else. The remaster is more than welcome, with the advertised extras making the Deluxe Edition compulsory for the committed. (I just ordered mine.) There's been talk here of the music, but I don't remember any real discussion of the movie. What do people think of it? Anyone who hasn't seen it? I last saw it several years ago, having purchased a legit VHS edition briefly put out by [...]

John Lennon’s favorite movie?

By |2013-08-07T04:11:06-07:00June 7, 2012|john and yoko, John Lennon|

El Topo poster by Graham Humphreys. Reading this post on "El Topo" at made me recall that I read somewhere it was John Lennon's favorite movie. Anybody ever seen it? Should I seek it out? I have an insatiable desire to watch pre-1980 movies, especially foreign ones, but I have a low tolerance for symbolism (Bresson's "Au Hasard Balthazar," for example, left me cold...well, the humans did. The donkey was superb). Opinions? Here's the movie's page on Rotten Tomatoes—surprisingly positive for an underground flick, right? Here's the trailer… While researching this post, I ran across this post, which [...]

Nowhere Boy: The first Mid-Atlantic Beatles biography?

By |2013-08-09T00:00:59-07:00October 1, 2010|biography, John Lennon, pre-Beatles|

Poster for "Nowhere Boy," the Lennon biopic, 2010. If you love The Beatles, the idea of a movie based on John Lennon's teenage years is guaranteed to cause mild discomfort, as your leaping heart presses against your rising gorge. (Of course, we all agree that a comedy/mystery based on Lennon's later life is completely OK. By the way, thanks to the hundreds of people who downloaded Life After Death for Beginners yesterday. I hope you all enjoy it.) Faced with Nowhere Boy then, the logical left-brain is definite: "The world does not need John-Julia slash." At the same moment, however, [...]

The Vision of Joe Orton

By |2014-07-23T16:53:37-07:00March 22, 2008|1966, books|

DEVIN McKINNEY  •  The missing piece in the Beatles’ movie puzzle, the wild card in their deck, is Joe Orton. This enfant terrible of the British theater, in between epatering the ‘60s bourgeoisie with the likes of Entertaining Mr. Sloane and Loot, wrote a screenplay for the Beatles at the commission of producer Walter Shenson. Adapted from an early, unpublished novel and suggestively titled Up Against It (Brit-speak for “under the gun”), the script was violent, sexually transgressive, defiantly sui generis—part Fellini freakshow, part black Ealing Studios farce, part prophecy of every late ‘60s anti-establishment decadence-and-destruction fantasy from How I Won the [...]

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My night of Rutlesmania

By |2015-01-02T11:04:33-08:00March 19, 2008|Beatle-inspired, Beatles in LA, comedy, Eric Idle, Monty Python, Rutles|

The Faux Fabs. People fortunate enough to witness a defining moment in human history always say the same thing: you can sense it happening. It’s as if there’s a subtle vibration, a whiff of something special in the air. If that’s true, no place in the world stank harder than Hollywood this past Monday night, as a majority of the world's celebrities packed themselves into the venerable Egyptian Theater to pay homage to one of the most important musical groups of our, or anyone’s, lifetime. Of course you already know who I’m talking about: Ron, Dirk, Stig, and Barry, the [...]

The Dizz Gillespie Story

By |2022-07-24T12:59:16-07:00February 12, 2008|Brian Epstein|

This is a true story, set down soon after its occurrence. I have no witnesses to corroborate the denouement, but I did tell my companions what had happened seconds later. This was in the first draft of my book Magic Circles, but was cut for reasons of length and shapeliness. One hates to see a good story, especially a true one, go untold; now, thanks to the miracle of blogspace, no story, good, bad, boring, true or untrue, need go untold again. It’s up to you to winnow out one from the other—a new challenge for the millennial reader. Who said the [...]

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