Wednesday, August 17, 2016

More details/reviews: The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years

From the Hollywood Reporter:
We see them play "I Saw Her Standing There" for a Washington, D.C., crowd in 1962 (the footage looks like B&W film that has been colorized); watch them at the Hollywood Bowl, where an insert from the crowd shows a young Sigourney Weaver in close-up (she tells Howard now that she "was in love with John"); and bear witness to some lackluster performances near the end, when McCartney admits they were "going through the motions." The sound in general is excellent, though one telling scene imagines what it was like for those in the back of the crowd at Shea, listening to the group through a PA system made for baseball games.

...  We see them play "I Saw Her Standing There" for a Washington, D.C., crowd in 1962 (the footage looks like B&W film that has been colorized); watch them at the Hollywood Bowl, where an insert from the crowd shows a young Sigourney Weaver in close-up (she tells Howard now that she "was in love with John"); and bear witness to some lackluster performances near the end, when McCartney admits they were "going through the motions." The sound in general is excellent, though one telling scene imagines what it was like for those in the back of the crowd at Shea, listening to the group through a PA system made for baseball games.
A few more publications have posted reviews of Ron Howard's upcoming Beatles documentary, offering details about the film's content and approach:

From Variety:
It’s hard to imagine that most casual Beatle-niks — let alone the fanatics who have been generously fed by documentary-makers and rockologists over the past 40 years — will be surprised by much in Howard and writer Mark Monroe’s bouncy year-by-year study, which begins on the eve of the band’s U.S. breakthrough in 1964 with “I Want to Hold Your Hand” and stops just short of the psychedelic wanderings of “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” in 1967. The landmark Ed Sullivan Show appearances, the ear-piercing euphoria of their primarily female concert crowds, the controversy prompted by John Lennon’s flippant “more popular than Jesus” remark — it’s all duly covered here, with good humor and a vivid supply of milieu-setting archive material, but in breaking down the making of pop-culture legends, Howard mostly identifies contributing factors that have long since passed into the realm of legend themselves.

... the film steers pointedly clear of almost any conflict or tragedy associated with the band. The names of ex-members Pete Best and Stu Sutcliffe — dismissed and deceased, respectively, in 1962, months before the film’s beginning — go conspicuously unmentioned, as does the death by overdose of their urbane manager Brian Epstein in 1967, months after its chosen endpoint. (As for the foursome’s tumultuous private lives, there’s nary a whisper.)
From Screen Daily:
Blasting the viewer out the door to that brilliant rooftop rendition of Don’t Let Me Down, from what would become their final Let It Be album, The Beatles: Eight Days A Week, may take an softer, more superficial approach when compared to Martin Scorsese’s lengthy George Harrison doc, Living In The Material World (2011), or the Anthology project.  And its assembly of talking heads can be perplexingly random. But calling out from the past in 5.1 surround sound – a world away from the tannoy system in Shea Stadium in 1965 – this infectious piece harks back to happier, sweeter times for the Beatles and for pop music in general.

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