The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years (2016) is a English movie. Ron Howard has directed this movie. The Beatles,John Lennon,George Harrison,Paul McCartney are the starring of this movie. It was released in 2016. The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years (2016) is considered one of the best Documentary,Music movie in India and around the world.
In the 1960s, the Beatles exploded on to the public scene, seemingly out of nowhere as the band's formative years of constant performing at home and in Hamburg, and Brian Epstein's grooming, finally paid off beyond their wildest dreams. Accompanying new interviews of the remaining Beatles, their associates and fans as well as archival interviews of the late ones, this film features footage of the heady concert years of 1963 to 66 when the band became a worldwide cultural phenomena topping them all. Furthermore, it also follows how the Fab Four began to change and grow while the excitement of Beatlemania began to sour their lives into an intolerable slog they needed to escape from to become more than what their fans wanted.
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A very good thumbnail sketch of The Beatles, from The Quarrymen to Sgt. Pepper 90%
Even though I regard The Beatles as the greatest musical act of all time, I haven't really delved into the minutiae of their history. So, as someone who has watched the odd documentary about them and listened to stories about them on the radio, I have to say that Ron Howard's documentary here was very good in that it covers much of the band's history and covers some of the landmark incidents that the band is famous (or infamous) for. That being said, the revelations in this documentary are rather anodyne, compared with the startling revelations of the ABC TV (Australia) documentary "When The Beatles drove us wild", especially with regards to what band members got up to sexually during their tour of Australia in 1964, when the promoter lucked onto signing them for a bargain-basement price (just before they became a worldwide phenomenon). There are no stories of their sexual exploits in Howard's film and you wonder how the band could have survived if their debauchery in Australia (and elsewhere, no doubt), had been covered by the media. The ABC documentary suggested – from memory – that there was a kind of "understanding" between the band and the media in Australia not to cover those kinds of sexual activities. What you do get in Howard's documentary is lots of photos and film of the band, including their time in previous bands, like The Quarrymen (which featured John Lennon, later joined by Paul McCartney and later still, George Harrison). There are also photos and film of The Beatles' early days in Hamburg and The Cavern. All the band members feature in current interviews or old interviews with those members who have died before the making of this documentary. The significant figures involved with the band are also featured (briefly) in interviews, people like their manager Brian Epstein and record producer George Martin ("The fifth Beatle"). Throughout the film, there are quite a few songs by the band which get played. Most of the time you don't hear the entire song, but it's long enough to be enjoyable. You also get to hear demo versions of songs or rehearsals or out-takes from recording sessions. If you're obsessive about The Beatles, there might not be too much that is novel for you in this film but for the uninitiated there are lots of topics which get raised which the studious types can further research at their leisure. Personally speaking, some of the topics raised here I was already familiar with but may have forgotten about, meaning that I enjoyed being reminded about it. For instance, I was vaguely aware of some incident involving Imelda Marcos, the First Lady of the Philippines when The Beatles toured there. Other topics were new to me, like the protests arising from the band being booked to play at the Budokan stadium in Japan. Sometimes what I thought I knew was challenged. For instance, I thought that The Beatles' concert at Shea Stadium marked the end of their touring career because the crowd noise was so excessive that the band never wanted to have to deal with that again (the bonus feature at the end has reasonable sound quality for that concert). In the documentary, however, it's mentioned that their concert at Candlestick Park in the US was their last ever proper concert. The landmark controversies do feature in this documentary, including the band's infamous "butcher cover" artwork for their single release "Yesterday and today" as well as John Lennon's notorious "bigger than Jesus" utterance which seemed capable of derailing their success...well, at least in their biggest market, the US. An interesting aspect to this documentary is the focus on the many firsts that the band achieved, including being the first band to play stadiums (Shea Stadium), John Lennon accidentally inventing the use of backward played tape on albums, The Beatles being the first act to have the top 5 selling songs in the US singles chart and most noteworthy of all (and a surprise to me) was that The Beatles collectively overturned America's apartheid policy in the South to have non-segregated seating for their concerts there. Lastly (as far as the documentary proper goes), it was interesting to hear that the band weren't always confident that they would be successful...they had their doubts, and John would go through a motivational chant to lift their spirits. Also, maybe it seems obvious, but I wasn't aware how autobiographical (and literal) Lennon's song "Help!" was. No other songs are discussed in this manner. I do have vague memories of a story on FM radio about their song "If I fell" (from memory) being autobiographical too...a song secretly intended to communicate with Lennon's lover, as he contemplated leaving his wife, I believe. The only "complaint" I have of this documentary is that it would have been good to have revisited some clips from previous documentaries. E.g. there was one which featured Lennon talking to a fan, I believe, who was convinced that The Beatles had written a song about him...Lennon had to explain to him, like Jesus to a child, that that couldn't possibly be true (if I recall). One Australian documentary I saw had footage of one of their Australian concerts (Festival Hall, Melbourne?), where I heard an undiscovered gem of a song "It won't be long". Nothing like that in Howard's documentary. I do remember one "Parkinson" interview, I think, with Paul McCartney where he asked Paul about their songwriting influences. Paul mentioned their education, which was interesting...until Parkinson unfortunately changed the subject. It was great to be reminded of the wit of the band in their press conferences...some funny comments from them. Highlight: A soccer crowd at Anfield spontaneously singing a Beatles song during a game. Liked/interesting: Footage of Ringo really hammering the drums enthusiastically. The band were mostly stoned when shooting their film "Help!". Their record deal was lousy.
An old tale retold
If, like me, you've been an obsessed Beatle fan all of your life, watching Ron Howard's Eight Days A Week may be a slightly strange experience. For the casual fan it should, for the most part, be a fun 2 1/4 hours packed with lots of interesting footage and interviews. But for myself, who has virtually every bit of video footage and audio tape that fans can get their hands on, there isn't much that's new and you may be left wondering why Howard would take the brave step of releasing nostalgic stuff like this on the big screen. "Ah, let's see, we can watch Jason Bourne or Suicide Squad...I know, let's watch old footage of the Beatles!" But I cannot deny that the audience that shared my viewing was reasonably large in numbers, and they seemed to appreciate the experience, so I guess its a case of "well done, Ron Howard". If I had to complain about a few things, it would be the cropped footage converting 4:3 to 16:9, or having BW turned to colour in a lot of cases. I prefer historical things to not be messed with. Having said that, I was pleasantly surprised to see that the full concert they show at the end of the film was uncropped, and the picture quality was excellent! So was it worth this very experienced Beatle fan's while to see Eight Days A Week in the cinema and not just wait for the Blu-ray? Yes, it was worthwhile, and I think my lasting memories will be the rest of the audience snickering every time the footage jumped to another hysterical fan screaming out for one of the four. It made the viewing more fun.
A film worth getting into your life.
Reviewing documentaries is always a bit tricky, since it is often difficult to separate the quality of the film making from your emotional attachment to the subject material. In my case, my early life was saturated with Beatlemania. Although I was only 2 year's old in 1963 at the start of it all, I had three older siblings who ramped up the excitement so much that it permeated my young mind. I still remember being vehemently "Sssshhed" since I was making too much noise during the live and ground-breaking "All you need is Love" telecast! Ron Howard's film focuses on "the touring years" which as depicted were truly manic, spanning from 1963 to 1966 before then skipping forward to 1969 for their final rooftop concert. This was in a time when airline travel was not the more comfortable and smoke-free environment it is today, so these worldwide trips much have been seriously gruelling, even without the adoration that reached dangerous proportions when they reached their destinations. Howard has clearly had his research team scour the world for archive clips since – whilst sensitively skipping some of the more 'commonly seen' materials, like the "jewelry shaking" clip – the film shows concert action I certainly had never seen before. The film is also nicely interlaced with celebrity cameos recalling their linkage to the Fab Four's performances (often moving, like Whoopi Goldberg's) and the group's "legacy" effect on modern-day art (in Richard Curtis's case rather less convincing). One of the most striking of these is that of Sigourney Weaver recounting her attendance as a pre-teen at the Beatle's Rose Bowl performance in LA. There, in the newsreel footage of adoring fans, is the unmistakable face of the 'before she was famous' actress: at least I hope it really was her (as the clip's timing implied) and not a lookalike, since that would be really disappointing! Also featuring – although not enough for my liking – are Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, recounting their feelings about the events and what happened behind the closed doors of hotel rooms or – most notably – a meat truck. What shines through is the honesty and intelligence of Lennon and McCartney, typified by the idiotic questioning of journalists, some of who had done so little homework they didn't even know there wasn't a Beatle called Eric! Some of the group's off the cuff responses were priceless: "What is the secret of your success?" asks one journo. "We don't know" quips John. "If we knew we'd form another group and be managers." While the film has enormous energy in its first two thirds, it rather runs out of momentum in its final reel . a bit like the Beatles did in fact. It also has elements of gimmickry like the smoke rising from photo cigarettes which gets a tad tiresome after the tenth occurrence. But this is a very watchable and enjoyable rock down memory lane for 50-somethings and for any fans old and young of the Fab Four's music. Highly Recommended. Note that the documentary itself is about 90 minutes in length, with another 30 minutes of live concert music tagged onto the end post-titles (which for travel reasons I was unfortunately unable to stay for so can't comment on). (For the graphical version of this review - or to comment on it - please visit bob-the-movie-man.com. Thanks!).
Sheer delight from start to finish for Beatles fans young and old
"Eight Days A Week - The Touring Years" (2016 release; 137 min. including bonus feature) is a documentary about the Beatles' touring days from late 1963 to August 1966. As the movie opens, we find the boys singing "She Loves You" in Manchester, November, 1963, and in glorious full color mode, no less. A bit later we get "Twist & Shout" from that same evening. To see it on the big screen is utter and pure delight. Along the way, we hear the Fab Four add their personal perspective on these times. "We were not an overnight sensation", reminds Paul, and we then get a very brief glimpse of their touring days in Liverpool and Hamburg. The movie spends, rightfully, more on 1964 than all the rest combined and it is a true treasure trove of rare and unseen footage, alongside the more familiar footage. Sigourney Weaver tells about attending the first Hollywood Bowl show, and later Whoopi Goldberg talks about being at the Shea Stadium show. Couple of comments: this documentary is directed by none other than Ron Howard, with the full cooperation of Paul, Ringo and the Lennon and Harrison estates. Howard and his team must have roamed the earth to come up with all of the fantastic footage, and make some pointed comments along the way (the Beatles had a contractual provision prohibiting segregated shows in the South, a remarkable stand considering the circumstances). The sound quality has been painstakingly remastered as best as possible. As a lifelong Beatles fan who was too young to have seen them in person or fully appreciate what all took place half a century ago, this movie is sheer delight from start to finish. The theater version came with a 30 min. bonus feature immediately after the end titles, namely "The Beatles At Shea Stadium", their entire set from August 15, 1965. It absolutely blows the mind what happened there. And to think that as the headliner, the Beatles played for all of 25 minutes! Watching the crowd is as much fun as it is watching the guys. Here again, the old footage has been restored and remastered. "Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years" opened this weekend on a single screen for all of Greater Cincinnati, at my local art-house theater. I couldn't wait to see it. The Saturday matinée screening where I saw this at was PACKED to the rafters, to my surprise and delight. On my way out of the theater, there was already a long line waiting for the next screening. It seems this movie is hitting a nerve, and this has the looks to be a solid success on the art-house theater circuit. If you love the Beatles, you do not want to miss this. "Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years" is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
A movie that brings a freshness to old material with new interviews, unseen footage and enhanced sound and images. A real tribute. Don't go expecting an epiphany or any gritty revelations, this is a story retold with love and one suspects, awe. It does what the title says and focuses on the touring and the music with helpful and not over-intrusive commentary along the way, and helps the viewer to understand how the band came to their decision in 1966. It is not difficult to imagine that the band finished touring last year, such is the care and attention that has gone into enhancing the images. I loved this film, unashamedly.