Thursday, 8 September 2016

Richard Porter's review of Eight Days A Week


SPOILER ALERT!

These are Richard Porter's reflections on The Beatles - Eight Day's A Week - The Touring Years. Richard is operating London's Beatles Walks, owns a Beatles themed coffee and souvenir shop near Abbey Road, is the author of the Guide to the Beatles' London and holder of the title "Beatles Brain of Britain" (1991 and 1992).

"We saw the film at Picturehouse Central in London, which is right next to the London Pavilion, where A Hard Day's Night, Help! Yellow Submarine and Let it Be all had their London premieres, so a very suitable location. It was a very big screen and great sound".

"There was quite a bit of footage I had never seen before - the best being a press conference where George is seen using John's hair as an ashtray while smoking a cigarette! There were also snatches of fan shot 'home movies' of gigs, including brief footage from Hammersmith Odeon in 1965.



Another great moment was when Paul talked about Ringo playing with the Beatles for the first time, and the others just looking at each other and thinking 'Wow - this really works'! He got really emotional when he said this, too".

"As well as newly filmed interviews with Paul and Ringo, there is also footage of interviews with George and John, so like the Anthology, we get the views of all four".

"I enjoyed the film. Well, watching the fabs for 2 hours can't be anything but! However, I thought it could have been better. I was rather surprised at the poor quality of some of the film footage, and I didn't like that some of it had been colourised. In my opinion, if something was shot in black and white, that's how it should stay, especially as the colourisation looked very artificial at times.
I didn't really learn that much that I didn't know before, but as it says in the production notes "first and foremost, it is a film for those who were “not there”, especially the millennials."

"I also thought it was certainly made for an American audience, who believe the Beatles first ever performance was the Ed Sullivan Show. Well, actually they'd done thousands of gigs before this, and I thought this part of the Beatles career was covered much too quickly".

"I also noticed that the likes of Bill Harry, Sam Leach, Tony Bramwell, Freda Kelly, and Allan Williams get credit for their assistance in the film, but are not seen in it. Hopefully, their interviews will be included as extras on the DVD".



"For me the best bits of he film was the footage from 'Beatles Come to Town' in Manchester in 1963, Shea Stadium 1965 and 'Don't Let me Down' and 'I've Got a Feeling' from the Apple Rooftop in 1969. Of course, one could say that the rooftop concert shouldn't have been included, as it wasn't from the 'touring years' - but the sound and picture quality were amazing, so I will let them off! Don't Let Me Down seemed to be the same footage as seen on the Beatles 1 DVD, but 'I've Got a Feeling' had lots of different camera angles not seen before. (Note to Apple - your next Film/DVD release must be Let it Be!!)"



"Eight Day's A Week - The Touring Years is a great way to introduce the Beatles to new fans. I would certainly recommend all fans to see it, but if you are a big fan like me, don't expect to learn too much".

"Footnote - don't leave the cinema before the end of the credits, because over them we are treated to sections of the Beatles 1963 Christmas message! (Another 'potential' release, please, Apple!)"

"Also it was a very nice touch that the film was dedicated to the memory of Sir George Martin, and also to Neil Aspinall, Mal Evans and Brian Epstein".

1 comment:

Scotch said...

It bothered me that they took away the audio for the "Beatles Come To Town" clip and replaced it with the Hollywood Bowl performance of Twist and Shout.

Indeed, I was very bothered by how trite the treatment of this story was. So little mention of the Philippines fiasco and other events.