Remember John Lennon 1940 - 1980
G. Guberlal | 01/06/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"December 8, 1980 - New York City
"John Lennon, the guiding spirit of The Beatles, dead tonight at 40."Those immortal words at the end of the movie bring tears to everyone who was a fan of John Lennon. I remember hearing and seeing that news report from a hospital bed at 6 years old. It was and always will be a tragic memory. The man who resurfaced after a 5 year absence with a powerhouse of music destined for new life had been cut short just a few hours after an interview where he said:"My work won't be finished until I'm dead and buried. And I hope that's a long, long time."The long time was 2-3 hours.The movie is an intimate portrait of Lennon's life and legacy. It exposes the chaos behind the myth, as well as the genius behind the man. With all the tales from friends, associates, Paul, George, Ringo, and George Martin on "The Beatles Anthology," this one focuses on Lennon's life in his own words and home videos. Taken directly from the archives of the man himself, there has never been a better documentary on Lennon. From Liverpool beginnings to the end in New York City, watch the boy become a superstar, the superstar into a man, and the man become a legend.Remember John Lennon 1940 - 1980Robert Eldridge (...)"
A must-have for Lennon fans
Candace Scott | Lake Arrowhead, CA, USA | 07/12/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I've loved John Lennon all my life and this movie is an excellent canvass of his life. Though the film takes you through all 40 years of John's life, the emphasis is on the period 1970-71, where the bulk of the film rests. There is at least thirty minutes of fascinating footage from 1970 and shows John in the studio, recording the album "Imagine" with the gnome-like Phil Spector sitting in the control booth. One of my favorite scenes is John rehearsing and singing the beautiful "Jealous Guy" in front of the microphone. What a time piece!Another lovely scene takes place at John's Titenhurst mansion in 1970. A homeless hippy has been sleeping in John's garden and the camera shows John and Yoko confronting him. The hippy rhapsodizes about the Beatles song "Carry that Weight," and extols the lyrics. John sardonically says, "Yeah, well that was *Paul* singing that!" Then the Lennon's invite the homeless man in for some breakfast. There is additional footage from the early 70's of John with George Harrison. The interviews with Elliot Mintz are OK, but I would have preferred more actual footage of Lennon. They show some footage from his 1971 concert and much backstage material and interviews. There is plenty of information and film of the aftermath of his tragic assassination and the rivers of tears that produced. The years of the Beatles are covered, but not in any great depth. Get the Anthology for more in-depth material on the Fab Four. In short, a lovely film about one of the cultural icons of the 20th century. If you love John Lennon, get this film."
Katherine Carman | DigiWorld | 11/03/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A must for any John Lennon or Beatles fan. Narrated by John, a video diary seemingly begun in 1971 continuing into the 80's, talking about his life from a child, to meeting the Beatles, all the madness surrounding that craze, meeting Yoko, his quest for peace. Accompanied by an appropriate Lennon soundtrack. Includes interviews with Brian Epstein, George Martin, John's Aunt Mimi, first wife Cynthia, Julian Lennon, footage of classic performances, as well as the "rattle your jewelry" quote and the first trip to America and press conferences. John dealing with nutty fans camped outside his house. Really had the heart to help these confused and probably broke hippies. John working in the studio. The madness following the "bigger than the Beatles" comment. Strawberry Fields Forever music video. Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds and Yellow Submarine. Revolution and the Vietnam War. The public criticism of John's marriage to Yoko. Yoko helping out in the studio while recording "Oh Yoko." The jerk reporters who attended the bed-in. John and George working on "How Do You Sleep." All the walls they came across during their peace movement. Yoko encouraging John's visual art, and it then being taken from the museum for being "pornographic." Tender moments with Sean, and an interview with teenage Sean. Strange, peculiar, foreshadowing to John's tragic murder. "Where there's life there's hope. My work won't be finished until I'm dead and buried, which I hope won't be for a long time yet." There is even a moment where John and Yoko are going through their mail and find a letter from a psychic predicting John will be assasinated, but in March. This movie could not have been done better. It's amazing to learn all these hardships they went through, not just for them, but for peace, for their fans, and they never once gave up. The power of one man. A visual tribute to a hero, a father, a husband, a musician, a leader, and a man. Have your hankies ready towards the end."
John Lennon in His Own Words
General Breadbasket | 10/20/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Imagine" is a feature length documentary about John Lennon's life, centred around the "Imagine" recording sessions, but also featuring footage from the Beatle era, his marriage with Yoko, his "lost weekend" period and a few home movies, all the way to the year of his death. It uses John's own voice as narration, taken from the hours of interviews he did throughout his life, and features alternate and remixed versions of his songs as a soundtrack of sorts, as well as interviews from all sorts of people, from Sean Lennon to George Martin. Though it's not as detailed (or as long) as say "The Beatles Anthology", I still think it is a really fine look at John Lennon's life.
Every moment of the film is interesting, I reckon, and if I was to pick a favorite scene, I'd probably pick the whole thing! There's John's encounter with a "tripping" fan at his doorstep, who he talks lyrics with and invites in for tea. There's an interview with May Pang (John's one time mistress), who suggests that John's "lost weekend" period wasn't so lost (he released a few albums during that period, socialized a lot more and collaborated with a lot of people). There's the bed-in debate between John and cartoonist Al Capp over lyrics, art and money (one of the most infamous scenes of the film). The movie captures who John was really well, I thought. He was a thoughtful man, a witty man, whose words were often misunderstood despite the fact he put out his point of view honestly and openly. The places he live in seem to be characters in the documentary too, I think, and evoke the things John liked to surround himself with. The peace of Tittenhurst Estate, the bustle of 1960s London, the "big Liverpool" feel of early 1980s New York, they're all great backdrops to the tale.
Special features include "A Tribute To John Lennon", a more recent piece where the filmmakers (and Yoko) discuss the making of the documentary, gushing about John on the way. There's the "Truth Be Told" interview, which was originally done for radio, though for the DVD you get the visual footage too. In the interview John discusses love, sex and "selling out" throughout the history of art. There's an acoustic version of "Imagine", an interview with John's school principal William Pobjoy regarding John's school days and friendship with Pete Shotton, plus footage of John buying a constructing a small playhouse on an island in the lake at Tittenhurst Estate. What's most interesting about this footage, I think, is Julian Lennon's relationship with Yoko. At least in those days, they seem to be getting on quite well, Yoko waving to Jules across the lake and Julian happily calling back.
Definitely worth a look for Beatles fans and documentaries."