From menudo.uh.edu!swrinde!elroy.jpl.nasa.gov!ncar!uchinews!quads!dlm3 Sun Mar 6 01:18:55 GMT-0600 1994
Re: Hard Day's Night: The Film<BR>

Re: Hard Day's Night: The Film

Sender: news@uchinews.uchicago.edu (News System)
Reply-To: dlm3@midway.uchicago.edu
References: <2l0mt8INNfio@mickey.eng.gulfaero.com> <1994Mar3.222544.21652@midway.uchicago.edu> <2l5s28$hfj@hpscit.sc.hp.com>

In article <2l5s28$hfj@hpscit.sc.hp.com> miller@sc.hp.com (Phil Miller) writes: >But by the time AHDN was filmed, Beatlemania was in full throttle
>and the Beatles' lives were no longer those of gritty Liverpudlians.
>The movie was about *big* stars and the glamour of being famous.

You have missed an essential theme of the film, if this is all you've gotten out of it.

The film was about lower/working-class lads becoming big stars, and their indelible Liverpudlian response to a life of so-called "traditional" glamor. The film makes it quite clear that the Boys never leave their roots behind, and that this is part of their (implicitly revolutionary) success.

If you're not able to perceive this from the screenwriting, the direction, the acting, and the overall cinematic ambience, even after multiple viewings, perhaps you'd best quit trying.

>(Note that color film and stereo recordings are both more *real*
>than their "artsy" counterparts.)

There's a difference between natural cinematography and that imitating the "realism" of documentary/journalistic footage, which used B&W stock for expediency. "Realism" was evocatively re-created by directors not to make the visuals look like what's outside your window, but to stylistically quote the immediacy of reportage within the confines of a fictional story. This is an extablished cinematic style; it's what Lester and Owen both had in mind, and ultimately it's what "AHDN" delivered.

>And how did the Marx Brothers schtick that AHDN draws it's comedic
>ancestery from fit into all this realism that Lester and Owen were
>trying to achieve?

It's an unfortunate circumstance that the Marx Brothers were so often cited as the artistic antecedent for the Fabs. Maybe because the Marxes were funny and deadpan (so were the Beatles), because the Marxes ran around with great vigor (so did the Fabs, when the script warranted). But the more linear comedic ancestry comes from Liverpudlian humor, a much more acerbic, acute literary and stage tradition than the one drawn upon by the Marxes, who honed their skills out of American Vaudeville of the 'teens and 'twenties.

You might say that these styles of humor fall into parallel courses without the Fabs having actually borrowed from the Marxes (either in their "real" life---they were all naturally funny without scripts, it's worth noting---or when given dialogue by Alun Owen *based upon* their own inate humor and that of their regional upbringing)---much the way Lennon's writing was called Joycean, though he was (by his own admission) completely unfamiliar with James Joyce.

Condemning the Fabs for being too Marxian (and thus too surreal for "realism") is to ignore the real source of their style.

>Yeah, true, he did succed in all that, but that psudo-documentary
>style just clashes with the unreality of the script and the Marx
>Brothers-style antics. The combination results in a film that
>doesn't flow or groove and irritates all but those who are merely
>happy to see the Beatles.

You're generalizing about a personal, subjective experience. By my count, very few in this esteemed newsgroup (or in the greater arena of cinema history) are irritated by "AHDN". In fact, it's still cited as a milestone of the pop-musical genre by current-day critics.

Compared to real-life footage, "AHDN" is not unreal. It has its occasional comedic lapses, but these are few (and perhaps attributable to the actors' unfamiliarity with their craft). The film does not attempt to *be* real-life; it evokes real-life within the confines of a fictitious day in the life of a phenomenal pop group. And the smoothness of its segue between cinema-verite and fantasy is a credit to its makers.

If it doesn't "flow" or "groove" for you...how sad! You've missed one of the sheer joys of Fabdom.
--


"But how their bewitched and bedazzled fans love it...."

saki (dmac@math.ucla.edu ) Click here to return to the rmb home page.

Click here to return to saki's index.