By DONNA BALANCIA
“The Beatles: Get Back” a documentary by “Lord Of the Rings” filmmaker Peter Jackson, will be released on September 4 by Walt Disney Studios, it was announced.
The Peter Jackson doc on The Beatles highlights the band’s recording sessions for the album Let It Be and includes the band’s famous 42-minute performance on the rooftop of Apple’s London office that was the basis for the movie “Let It Be.”
The final Beatles album, Let It Be, was first released on May 8, 1970, just before the launch of the film by the same name. Rehearsals and recording sessions for the album had taken place in January,1969 first At Twickenham Film Studios and later in the basement and on the roof of their Apple headquarters in London’s Savile Row.
“I am really happy that Peter has delved into our archives to make a film that shows the truth about The Beatles recording together,” said Paul McCartney. “The friendship and love between us comes over and reminds me of what a crazily beautiful time we had.”
Ringo Starr said: “I’m really looking forward to this film. Peter is great and it was so cool looking at all this footage. There was hours and hours of us just laughing and playing music, not at all like the version that came out. There was a lot of joy and I think Peter will show that. I think this version will be a lot more peace and loving, like we really were.”
“Let It Be” was shot on 16 mm and blown up to 35 mm and the 80-minute movie centered on a surprise rooftop concert the band put on at their London-based Apple headquarters. The album Let It Be topped the charts in the U.S. and the U.K.
“Let It Be” was directed by Michael Lindsay-Hogg and the film and accompanying album were produced in January 1969, but were not released until May 1970, three weeks after The Beatles broke up. The poor timing did not sit well with the critics and the public.
The new Jackson doc aims to portray the more jovial side of the Let It Be recording process. Jackson’s “The Beatles: Get Back” features John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr at work in the studio creating what would become world renowned songs working on them from the beginning. The “Fab Four” ham it up at times, playing up to the camera.
“Let It Be” was shot on January 30, 1969, and The Beatles’ surprise rooftop performance was the band’s last live show together. Prior to getting together on the Apple rooftop, the band hadn’t played live together in more than two years.
The film, which had wide theatrical distribution is atypical from The Beatles films “Help” and “A Hard Day’s Night,” in that there is no quasi-fictional storyline, but instead is the performance and interjects surprised and amusing reactions from fans and locals and determined cops, who try to shut down the show.
The studio said a fully restored version of the original “Let It Be” film will be released at some point.
The album Let It Be captures the more jovial side of the band despite the squabbling which had been frequent press fodder. The album includes the hits “Get Back,” “Across The Universe” and title track “Let It Be,” about McCartney’s mother. “The Long and Winding Road” is considered one of the most emotion evoking songs by any artist.
The Beatles on the Apple Roof for ‘Let It Be’ – Don’t Let Me Down