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This "biography" evolves around the nearly 240 hours of film and videotape fortuitously taken by Lennon of his life. The archive footage is transformed into a fascinating life story of one of the most complex and fascinating men of the modern music era. This effort includes a 36 song soundtrack. Includes some very personal and insightful footage, never before made available to the public. —Todd Tidyman
This was my bad, I mistook this as a Yoko exploitation vehicle when it was released and really deprived myself of an excellent biography. John Lennon, The Beatles still loom very large in pop culture and may for quite some time. But as a fan, I find most film documentaries generally are either too lengthy and even preachy or too segmented and incomplete; with nothing really doing the trick. So much so, that I think their music or silly Hollywood movies are still the best and most candid contact we have available. Having said that, by concentrating on John Lennon only, I think this film is able to rise above the rest of whats out there. It cleverly makes use of interviews and sound bytes by John so that he's almost narrating the entire film. It does not dwell too much on his time after the Beatles and with Yoko. Instead its a pleasant balance on all phases of his most fascinating life. There's a ton of stuff I had never seen before and even better, some complete takes of the familiar stuff we know too well. For instance, there is a comprehensive bit involving John and Yoko's bed in for peace that includes a nasty exchange with a pompous cartoonist. Also a terrific scene in a recording studio. The real stuff baby. I think its interesting that as time has passed, John's ideas just don't sound so ridiculous and drug induced as they once did. He instead really comes across as a visionary trying to make dullards and dimwits understand what are now extremely sane concepts. Very odd I must say.
- Oct 24, 2003
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