Help…… I need somebody, to make a good Documentary about The Beatles, oh, Looking for Lennon is here, nevermind.
More specifically, Looking for Lennon is about the formative years of John Lennon. It is much more than just a music doc, although it plays into that sub-genre as well. The movie covers the events since Lennon’s birth, up until the formation of the Beatles.
It turns out Lennon was a man born out of war time, who went on to create music that inspired a generation. This is a fascinating subject since Lennon went through a few key tragic events in his life that shaped his outlook on the world and ultimately, his art.
Looking for Lennon is about John Lennon, the musician, the unfavoured son and the complex boyfriend. Stock footage of Lennon and from the time period is used in perfect harmony with interviews from childhood friends, former band mates and educators to give us a full perspective.
The cinematography and overall feel of Looking for Lennon is exceptional for any movie, let alone a Documentary. Even the archival footage and photography were given close attention to complement the film’s visual aesthetic. Popular songs by The Beatles accompany tours of the locations that are now legendary, such as Strawberry Fields.
This high level of craftsmanship is not surprising once you consider the source. The Director of Looking for Lennon, Roger Appleton is also known for Get Back, a feature length Documentary about the catalogue of over 1,000 bands that have originated from the Liverpool music scene, which of course, included The Beatles.
Even the most avid fan of John Lennon and his work will take away something new from this movie. For example, we are given details about the formation of The Quarrymen, Lennon’s skiffle bank which preceded The Beatles.
The Quarrymen date back to 1956, when Lennon was only a teenager. It was interesting to hear first hand accounts from these former band mates and seeing some of the homemade instruments they used, such as a bass guitar which comprised of a wooden cabinet, a broom handle and a string.
For the sake of full disclosure, I was never struck with Beatle-mania, although I do enjoy the music of The Beatles and recognize the contribution they made, you would be hard pressed to find someone who did not at least agree with that.
So the fact that I was entertained and engaged with Looking for Lennon would make a Beatle obsessive (I know they are out there), someone who would absolutely love this film. And maybe, just maybe…. love is all you need. (sorry, that was the last time I promise.)
In closing, I place Looking for Lennon among the ranks of the great music documentaries out there, such as Hit So Hard, Cobain: Montage of Heck, Artifact and Madonna: Truth or Dare.
Looking for Lennon is now available in the United Kingdom by way of Evolutionary Films. And soon it will make its way across the pond in the United States by SP Releasing, slated for sometime in June or July.
Curt Wiser is the Writer, Director of the Suspense movie Cam-Girl. As a filmmaker and artist he is happy to look at and explore the work of other artists and share them with the world.