LENNON AND McCARTNEY 1967-72; COMPOSING OUTSIDE THE BEATLES (Triton DVD)

 |   |  1 min read

Paul McCartney: Mumbo (from Wild Life, 1971)
LENNON AND McCARTNEY 1967-72; COMPOSING OUTSIDE THE BEATLES (Triton DVD)

While you might think there is little left to be said about the Beatles after the break-up and their subsequent solo careers, the narrow and deep focus of this two hour doco is surprisingly interesting.

By just taking that period when Lennon and McCartney were starting to go their own ways, and pulling on the handbrake before Wings really took off, you get a real insight into just how different they became in such a short period.

What elevates this too is the intelligent talking heads -- notably Klaus Voorman who had known the Beatles since Hamburg days and played on early Lennon solo albums. He brings an almost clinical but bemused tone, and although writer Johnny Rogan insists on wearing dark glasses in a dark room (he looks like that Bee Gee), he along with Wings drummer Denny Seiwell, writers Robert Christgau, Anthony DeCurtis and others, and Lennon drummer Alan White all have intelligent and clear-headed things to say.

And the video footage of Lennon and McCartney at work and play is superb, much of it previously unseen even by hardcore Beatle fans is my guess. The fiery politics of Lennon at this time makes for gripping viewing, and there is terrific live footage too.

No one makes excuses for Lennon's solo indulgences (the Imagine album with its peace'n'love but bitter swipe at McCartney) or McCartney's wimp-pop (which rather undercut the message of his rare foray into politics on Give Ireland Back to the Irish). The musicians who were on hand have no reason to hold back, least of all Voorman (who also did the Revolver album cover).

yokonakedBut from Lennon's experimental work (from Revolution 9 through the albums Two Virgins, right, and so on) and McCartney's tentative return with McCartney then Wild Life, the story is told with attention to detail, given fair interpretation and pulls in the historical context just enough to make it interesting for those who know nothing of thios period of strained relationships and sometimes even more strained music.

Is there much left to be said about this period when the Beatles broke up?


Indeed, the most successful solo Beatle for a while there -- chart toppers and movies -- was actually Ringo. So when does he get his equally analytical DVD? 

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Film articles index

THE ROLLING STONES; CROSSFIRE HURRICANE a doco by BRETT MORGEN (Shock DVD)

THE ROLLING STONES; CROSSFIRE HURRICANE a doco by BRETT MORGEN (Shock DVD)

In a voice-over at the end of the new, officially sanctioned but nonetheless ragged and candid Rolling Stones bio-pic Crossfire Hurricane, Mick Jagger says in a voice between amusement and... > Read more

THE BAND'S VISIT by ERIN KOLIRIN (Madman DVD)

THE BAND'S VISIT by ERIN KOLIRIN (Madman DVD)

This beautifully composed, delightfully understated Israeli film is at Elsewhere not because it is about music -- an Egyptian police band adrift in an unattractive town in Israel -- but because it... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

SONNY ROLLINS INTERVIEWED (2011): The old lion still prowling

SONNY ROLLINS INTERVIEWED (2011): The old lion still prowling

Gary Giddins, America's most authoritative jazz critic, said of tenor saxophonist Sonny Rollins that he was “one of the last immortals, the most powerful presence in jazz today. He is its... > Read more

COLD CHISEL INTERVIEWED (2011): Forever now, and again

COLD CHISEL INTERVIEWED (2011): Forever now, and again

When the Australian rock band Cold Chisel arranged a press conference in Sydney in July 2011, they had something to announce and much to celebrate. But the gathering of media, management and... > Read more