‘Do you like The Beatles?’, is on the to-have-to-ask-round-the-family-dinner list of ‘very dear moments in pop history’, a mark of popular cultural ubiquity. But in the UK, the 2014 3D biopic of the Fab Four, The Beatles: Eight Days a Week – The Touring Years, featured only 34 minutes of Beatles-related material.
Last month, the BBC premiered the five-and-a-half-minute musical introduction to the McCartney-penned documentary, from conductor Seiji Ozawa, who provides a time-lapse vocal solo. Earlier this month, Uncut magazine aired their “what if the Beatles were played in non-3D movie theatres?” imagining. Titled The Beatles Are Here, the gist is that if we saw a Beatles documentary with practically no Beatles material at all (65 minutes), and only when the curtain comes down, followed by a heavy performance of similar movie titles, that the film would sell out in minutes. Well, one writer at Vanity Fair is pondering the same exact thing.
Of course, there is a lot to admire about the debut feature, The Beatles: Get Back, from director Declan Lowney. For a start, it’s actually a really good one, in that it’s less a nostalgia trip, and more about how the group changed. The film’s not all Beatles, not in terms of time and space, with only 32 minutes of footage actually shown, but the opportunity to revisit the group from different angles, and hear the performances as they were, make it feel a far more meaningful outing. That said, before we begin to mentally chart hypothetical outings, let’s just be thankful that this group of popular myths has a unique place in the history of music.