Sunday, 27 June 2010

John Lennon: Naked

I just watched this. The first thing that struck me: when the hell did British film-makers lose the ability to make a show that didn't look like a bunch  of luvvies in wigs? Eccleston did OK (bearing in mind that Lennon was seven years dead before the age Eccleston is now) but he had his performance to sustain the illusion. We could get inside him, so the visuals weren't that important, but the others didn't have that. They mostly just sat around wearing comedy moustaches bouncing us out of the dream everytime they opened their mouths.

It was worst with Paul, who was a vital part of the drama here. That fraternal bond was surely part of what sustained John for a while, but the Paul actor just never gt a chance. Plus, he played him like a mumbling druggie, like someone who has never been a mumbling druggie would play a mumbling druggie.

Next thing: okay, that's some sad shit, but there are millions of boys/men who go through this who aren't John Lennon. The doco tried to play it fair - "What about your son?" asks one of the many the sneering journos as John fucks off to America - but that just left it unfocused. John came out of that as selfish and spoiled instead of selfish, spoiled and damaged (which was surely the whole point).

It was almost redeemed by the scene where John plays his Dad "Mother". That should have been the whole show - a two hander based around that encounter, maybe 45 minutes. That could have been interesting, penetrating, revealing. That could have taken these specifics about a famous pop singer and made them universal about fathers and sons and the holes left in so many people's lives. That scene was the crux of it, the meat, but it was so meagre, and surrounded by so much pointless crap, about the lovable mop tops, it got lost.

The art of autobiography and biogrpahy is to make the particular universal; without that, all you're left with is tittle-tattle. With "Mother", Lennon managed that with startling brevity, directness and honesty. I guess that's why he was John, and these fuckers are just the fuckers they are.

There's a good video for the song from youtube (originally from the Anthology DVD?) but due to size I can't embed. Therefore, here's a link, sorry about that.

Combine it with this one, and the film's entirely superfluous. Anything you can't infer from them isn't important.

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