15th -17th September, DCA
As I walked into the cinema, the first thing that struck me was the wide range of ages that were present, all eagerly waiting to see the new Beatles documentary. Even after fifty years, four working-class lads from Liverpool prove just as important and have retained the ability to fill a venue and capture attention, just as they did in the heyday of the 1960’s.
Ron Howard’s direction and use of old concert footage brilliantly captures the combined journey of The Beatles and their fans on their rollercoaster rise to fame. As they talk about the good old days, the admiration and love that Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr still have for that time is obvious and very touching. Even other celebrities such as Whoopi Goldberg, Elvis Costello and Sigourney Weaver make a special appearance to tell stories of how much they loved and were inspired by a band that did so much for music in their short lifespan.
Howard gives fans, both old and a new, a chance to see The Beatles in a different light and understand why they stopped touring, the pressures of their fame and the price they had to pay for being in the spotlight all day, every day. Whether you have grown up with The Beatles or come under their spell in more recent years, this film will be of interest and offer a new understanding to their group dynamics and how important the four lads from Liverpool were and still are.
The combined use of archival footage from all those sell out concerts, interviews and audio recordings from within the studio that is decades old, from George Harrison and John Lennon, lends a new sense of wonderment to the myth and legend that is The Beatles. Upon seeing the concert footage and clips of screaming fans who cry over how much they love the fab four, so it is reaffirmed that fan groups have been around forever, their devoted nature unchanging with no sign of dying out as recent “Beliebers” prove.
There may be a new fad or group that come and “take over the world” from time to time, but the power, energy, wit and genius of all four members of The Beatles explains their undying appeal, and how they will retain a massive chapter in music history, as Ron Howard’s fantastic feature about the four of them attests.
Employing footage from concerts long since ended is a fantastic way of letting new fans experience what it was like to be there- as the same kind of excitement and anticipation overwhelms them to the point where all they can do is mirror the joy of the crowds from fifty years ago.
Eight Days A Week is a must see for any Beatles fan old or new as we are given the privilege of a backstage pass into the touring years with hindsight as to what they will continue to mean to future generations of fans. Long after the screams died out and the death of George Harrison and John Lennon became an anniversary it is still clear after this film how much the four of them mean to their fans around the world. The Beatles are born again in this documentary with the famous history portrayed candidly through rare footage and relived in the ecstasy of the concert footage that could only belong to one band in the world.