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Thursday, January 12, 2017

THE BEATLES: EIGHT DAYS A WEEK

At Abbey Road Studios, London - 2008
There is a good reason that documentaries have their own Academy Award category...documentary making is an entirely different art form from film-making, and a good doc producer/director requires a very specific skill set and particularly unique vision to be able to create something both compelling and educational, while still being entertaining enough to make you want to see it again and again...I'm not sure that you can use the word "transcendent" to describe a documentary, but if you can, this one would definitely qualify...
It's already an established fact that director Ron Howard is a great film-maker, but with the making of The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years, he has now established himself as a fine documentarian also, in the league with Ken Burns (PBS) and geniuses of his ilk, and definitely an Oscar contender for his excellent work here...
I thoroughly enjoyed every single second and frame of this work, and didn't want it to end...and even though I consider myself somewhat of a Beatles aficionado (I've even made a pilgrimage to Liverpool and visited each of their birthplaces), I was amazed at how much more there was to learn about John, Paul, George and Ringo, and their relatively brief, whirlwind of a world-tour in the early 60's...the previously unseen footage put into context with interviews and the chronological significance of the albums just made the whole thing make so much sense on so many levels, and Howard's attention to detail and grasp of his subject matter put the phenomenon of the Fab Four's meteoric rise to fame and influence on the 20th century, and indeed of the culture, into a framework that would make even non-fans enjoy it and learn from it...
Without being preachy, Ron Howard makes a powerful statement here about music, art, creativity, relationships, performing, culture, America, Rock n Roll, politics, the 60's, the cult of personality, sociology, history, biography, and Beatlemania that makes you think, and makes you fall in love with The Beatles all over again...
I loved it, yeah, yeah, yeah!