New Beatles Movie Aims to ‘Bust the Myth’ of ‘Let It Be’ Sessions
Director Peter Jackson previewed a few minutes of his upcoming documentary based on the Beatles' Let It Be movie over the weekend.
Variety reports the screening took place at Universal Music's annual showcase that coincides with the Grammy Awards. Jeff Jones of Apple Records said because of the perception that the 1970 movie was a depressing look at the Beatles coming apart, Jackson was brought in to digitally clean up old footage, removing what reporter Jem Aswad described as the "murky, shadowy atmosphere" of the original. It's a process similar to what the director did when colorizing the World War I footage in They Shall Not Grow Old.
“We have created a brand new film that will attempt to bust the myth that the Let It Be sessions were the final nail in the Beatles’ coffin,” Jones said.
According to Aswad, Jackson succeeded based on what was shown. "An amazing counter-narrative to [the] Let It Be film has ensued," he wrote. "It’s brighter both visually and spiritually, with many, many shots of the Beatles joking around, making fun of each other, singing in silly accents and generally indulging in vintage mop-top hijinks. It also features many scenes of the group rehearsing songs from the Abbey Road album — their true swan song, which would be recorded over the following summer — and even rough versions of songs that would appear on solo records. On the basis of this clip, Beatles fans will lose their minds over this film."
Jackson's film was announced almost exactly one year ago, saying he was given access to 55 hours of video and 140 hours of audio in order to create the "ultimate ‘fly on the wall’ experience" about the sessions. He called it an "amazing historical treasure trove. Sure, there’s moments of drama – but none of the discord this project has long been associated with." He added that the material was "funny, uplifting and surprisingly intimate."
While the title and release date of Jackson's project haven't been announced yet, it's believed it will be called Get Back -- the album's original title -- and coming out in October, based on an pre-order listing for a companion book that showed up on Amazon earlier this month.