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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. Written by
Kenneth Chisholm (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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!
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