The mythical raw footage of what became known as the movie Let it be of the Beatles (Michael Lindsay-Hogg, 1970) rescued and transformed by director Peter Jackson (The Lord of the rings, King kong) on a mini documentary series of three chapters and six total hours duration is something that, a priori, cannot fail under any circumstances.
And not only does it not fail, but, as expected, it adds a new take on the best non-fiction story of the 20th century in the field of arts. And in many cases, it even improves that narrative. Once again, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr did it. Only this time, several myths remain on the way and many others are confirmed forever.
The story is simple and classic. Jackson rebuilds January 1969 day by day within the Fab Four, who had a mission: compose fourteen new songs in fourteen days for a new album / TV special, with a live show (the Beatles hadn’t played live since 1966) as the icing on the cake.
Somehow, the plan lands on the highly established myth that the recording of Let it be it was but the scene of an announced separation. Apparently, there is a different air in Peter’s documentary.
Crisis, what crisis? In Get Back highlights a climate of companionship absent in the 1971 film. Photo Disney + via AP
But in between things happened. The original location (the Twickenham Film Studios) was not the right one; On January 10, Harrison decided to leave the group and then return, and the new location (the basement of the Apple Records offices, on Saville Row 3, London) was not in good condition. So yes, everything seemed headed for disaster.
However, there was McCartney, who while waiting for Lennon with his other two companions began to outline something in his bass something that ended up being Get back. Or John himself, who rescues One After 909 with the clarification that he composed it at the age of fifteen. Or the first sketches of Something Harrison and Octopus garden by Ringo.
Four proper names that, nevertheless, created a climate of collaboration that, once again, contradicts the certainty that each one was going their own way without looking beyond their own navel.
No one ever thought of seeing the Beatles when composing (John’s gaze at Paul when the latter defines the “Tucson, Arizona” of the lyrics of Get back is priceless) or to rehearse (the hundreds of passes of I’ve Got a Feeling), record (the taking of For You Blue George’s is perfect wherever you look and listen) or fool around and play (his knowledge of 1950s rock and roll is encyclopedic).
The Beatles: Get Back fully complies, by getting into the intimacy of the band, with the wet dream of many, fans and not so much.
Get Back fulfills the wet dream of many, of being there, in the center of the scene where it all happened.
John and Yoko’s vindication
The Beatles: Get Back also, in its own way, it serves as vindication of the Lennon and Yoko Ono figures. Ok, Yoko was there wedged between the four of them, and her presence can be seen as annoying when penetrating the intimacy of four friends’ work. But, it is fair to say, she never gives her opinion: she simply weaves or reads alongside her new partner.
Ever can be seen casually zapping with Lennon and McCartney, but nothing that can rival the Beatles. Which would overthrow the installed idea that Lennon’s wife was the stone of contention.
John, for his part, appears one hundred percent away from the stereotype of authoritarian leader with which he was associated for years. And yes you can see the histrionic man who, at some point, Eclipse his idol Peter Sellers or dedicate himself to changing the lyrics of the new songs into fucking, as you can also bring your voice to the present. Not her singer register, but her speech.
As the writer Hanif Kureishi said in his essay Eight arms to hold you (originally appeared in the British newspaper The Guardian in 1991), “a strong but cruel and harsh voice; not the one you would like me to look down on. “
Lennon, face to face with Peter Jackson, in a kind and loving plan, far from the profile of the authoritarian leader. Photo: Disney
“Naughty,” the description continued, “tremendously melancholic and also wise, full of doubts, self-confidence and humor (…) It is the voice of someone who is alive in both feeling and mind; a voice that comes from someone who has understood their own experience and knows its value ”.
The climax at the top
The climax of The Beatles: Get Back it is, of course, the concert on the terrace. The last time the Beatles played live. Aside from being able to be seen for the first time in its entirety, Jackson approaches the show from all angles. This is how you can have the look from the terrace itself and the building in front, from the street and from a hidden camera in Apple’s own reception.
And then, dividing the screen, we see passersby look up to step on something from the surprise and free show of the Beatles while they comment on their music; to “four musicians playing together as no others would ever do again” (Philip Norman, Shout!), and company employees juggle to retain the police that came with the order to stop with the recital.
After John’s final salute with the police, already in the rear of the makeshift stage, the beginning of the end began. The ghost of Allen Klein, with whom Lennon, McCartney, Harrison and Starr had already met for the first time, threatened to get into the lives of these four men, to force them to dissolve their bond.
But that, as has already been said thousands of times, is another story.
Reference from clarin