Saturday, November 26, 2016

How the Beatles 'Eight Days a Week' film missed the target

 Courtesy Apple Corps Ltd. 
On the latest Things We Said Today show, we discuss the new “The Beatles: Eight Days a Week: The Touring Years” DVD. I've reviewed it on AXS, but as I said in the show, I watched “The Beatles Anthology” before discussing it there. And I said in the show that the thing that was really noticeable was the huge use of talking heads that really diluted the story and made it much lighter.

We (meaning all of us) took “The Beatles Anthology” for granted. It was so well done, and the opinions of Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and George Harrison, who was still with us then, were like being on the inside. The John Lennon comments added a lot as well. 

“The Beatles: Eight Days a Week: The Touring Years” was not that. It was a look at the Beatles' touring years from different viewpoints that included theirs. They called it a documentary, but it was that in the loosest sense of the word. It was really an entertainment film. 

But if there was one thing we wished they had done with it, it would have been to make it more serious. And by serious, we mean somber. Those years of touring were unprecedented in the worldwide reaction. And the Beatles were four humans. “The Beatles Anthology” hinted at it and I don't expect we'll ever really know, but the fact they've survived is probably a miracle. Maybe Ron Howard probably didn't want to go there, but a different angle other than a P.R. story might have made the film more interesting. 

In the meantime, dig out “The Beatles Anthology” again and see the story the way they told it themselves.