THE BEATLES IN THE PICTURES

THE BEATLES IN THE PICTURES

You can’t just put any band on a film and expect laughs. And chemistry and appeal.

And that’s what happened to “Spice World.” The directors and creators behind it seemed to basically assume, “Hell, this band is popular, they’re a pop band, they have massive appeal with the male audience, they make catchy music, and they’re British, so they’ll be perfect equivalents to The Beatles.”

And… well… if you saw the movie, you’ll know that the logic behind that theory was slightly eschew.

“Spice Girls” was awful, not because by that time everyone had grown tired of their little act–including I who’d found them especially worth a wetdream or two for a while–but because people suddenly realized they sucked. Hard. And I’m not ashamed to admit I was a fan of their music. Stop laughing for a minute, please.

Moving on, the film had no plot, bad musical numbers, the acting from the girls was absolutely horrible, and it led to the demise of the Spice Girls dynasty. Now I was personally fond of Ginger Spice, but I digress. It was a long and painful death for them, and they disappeared.

You can’t just put any band on a film and expect a masterpiece.

And that’s why “A Hard Day’s Night” stands alone in that sentiment. The Beatles had something, and whatever it was, that indefinable aspect, was what made “A Hard Day’s Night” a pure piece of filmmaking.

As someone who has managed to become a passionate Beatles fan over the last two years, I’ve found that “A Hard Day’s Night” is not just a movie, but a ride, and a spectacle for the appealing qualities the fab four possessed. Beyond the egomania, the conflicts, and creative differences, when the Beatles formed music, they managed to form art that would remain in the public consciousness for decades to come.

I’m confident to say that when the Spears, Simpson’s, Aguileras, and Clarkson’s all disappear, The Beatles will still be around being referenced in literature and the like. They have staying power that goes beyond any normal band. Sure, it sounds like normal fan deifying, but they’ve proved their power since they arrived in the U.S that day.

Here in New York, there’s a radio show called “Breakfast with the Beatles,” it’s on every Sunday, on Q104.3 and is basically two hours of some of the greatest Beatles music ever made. And every Sunday, the current host boasts almost non-stop about his passion for the group and explains unknown facts involved with the making of their music.

To hear that most of their memorable musical quirks were mere mistakes make them all the more appealing. The feedback before “I Feel Fine” starts was actually a mistake that they didn’t notice until the track was recorded.

But I digress. “A Hard Day’s Night” is currently one of my favorite rock films, tussling with “The Song Remains the Same,” “Woodstock,” “Gimme Shelter,” “Monterey Pop,” and “The Kids are Alright” for the top spot. And the reason for that is because, there’s really nothing else like it around, and there never will be.

There’s a reason why The Beatles are still chart toppers to this day, there’s a reason why there’s continuous merchandising for them, because if you’ve seen “A Hard Day’s Night” you’ll know that they never really took themselves too seriously in the beginning.

They were four Brits who had their own personalities, personalities that weren’t really manufactured. And the film has enough sense to show them together and then split them apart so we can gain the idea of who they are as a foursome and as individuals. They’re funny in “A Hard Day’s Night,” they’re very funny.

“How did you find America?” asks a reporter.
“Turned left at Greenland,” replies John.

“Has success changed your life?” asks a reporter.
“Yes,” George replies deadpan.

“A Hard Day’s Night” is very much like “Stardust Memories” except not as jaded. Though the beatles do riff on their fame, inability to socialize without being chased, and the redundancy of the press junkets, they also seem to be having a lot of fun goofing around. The plot is incredibly simplistic: Ringo feels like the black sheep, and gets arrested, and now the group has to get him back before the concert starts. The film is a considerable mixture of reality and fiction.

The immediate giveaway is that the crowd is actually listening to the music, and the foursome can hear themselves play the music. In real life the Beatles decided not to tour anymore, because they just couldn’t hear their instruments, voices, and musical cues over the screaming, and it never looked as if any of the screaming women were ever actually listening to the songs.

But “Hard Day’s Night,” in spite of its simplicity, is great because the Beatles have personality, and that’s where the Spice Girls failed. Their biggest downfall though was their hubris. Assuming they were as big as the Beatles enough to make a film in the same vein is futile.

And, oh yes, the musical numbers played here are actually entertaining.

Artists continue paying homage to them, movies continue referencing them, and musicians continue worshipping them. Because they were The Beatles, and they’re the constant force behind music years after they disbanded. And their film “A Hard Day’s Night” is one of a kind because of the talent behind it.




Posted on August 30, 2006 in Blogs by
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