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The Beatles: Get Back - Peter Jackson Beatles documentary


JohnC
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I've seen an article where the audio / video mismatch is partly because the audio was running for hours and the video for a short time, and also because the band were sabotaging the documentary because the director was being an arse by playing their instruments over their conversations to mask them.

 

Ah - https://www.theringer.com/movies/2021/11/24/22799728/get-back-peter-jackson-beatles-documentary-disney-review

 

Quote

First, though, there was that dang audio, back once again to annoy Jackson all these years after it first tantalized him on those old Get Back recordings he bootlegged. “The most depressing thing about this whole project at the beginning was the audio,” Jackson said last week about his new film. While his and his team’s work on They Shall Not Grow Old had given him a good idea of how he wanted to process and restore the 16mm video—“we developed a whole lot of software and code,” he explained—“it was like, ‘OK, well, it’s great, it’s fantastic, but God, I wish we could hear what they’re saying,’” Jackson said. He added that the band members a half-century ago were extremely aware that Lindsay-Hogg’s mics were frequently rolling, and responded by acting like the equivalent of two spies chatting by a loud waterfall.

 

“He’s just hiding mics in all places,” Jackson said of the Let It Be director. “This is, like, a battle of wills—they realize that he’s onto them. So, once they start having conversations, John and George in particular, they crank up the amp full max, and they just strum. And while they’re talking, they’re deliberately drowning out Michael’s microphones. And that’s sort of what you hear on the bootlegs.”

 

To counter that, Jackson’s team of “very clever people” in New Zealand developed what he called an “artificial intelligence, machine learning program” that could learn to parse the band’s mono tape recordings. “We digitize it, put it into the computer, teach the computer what a guitar sounds like, teach the computer what a human voice sounds like, teach them what a drum sounds like.” This was useful for cleaning up the tracks musically, but also for, as Jackson describes, letting the narrative thrust of his movie be determined by the Beatles themselves. “This de-mixing stuff that we’ve got, apart from cleaning up the songs,” Jackson said, also wound up “revealing 50-year-old conversations that they deliberately drowned out that no one’s ever heard before. So what that does is it allows us to hear the Beatles telling the story.”

 

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Adored the first episode. 

 

You can see the genuine love and affection these guys had for each other, (even Yoko), despite these supposedly being the final bitter days of the band. 

 

I don't think you can fake that, no matter how clever an editor you are. 

 

Funny fuckers, too. 

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Jackson should have just Ken Burns’d the audio-only archive stuff with appropriate stills. It’s just too fake and forced and distracting with mismatched footage.

 

Still, as the man who turned a lovely little book about a Hobbit and some singing dwarfs into ten hours of tedium, I guess we shouldn’t expect editorial restraint.

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I’m by no means a huge Beatles fan, but I enjoy their music and I’m really enjoying it so far as the process is fascinating to watch. I really like seeing and hearing them just sitting together, chatting shit, playing and working things out. It’s great.
 

When the audio doesn’t match I do find it a little jarring. It’s almost like they’ve got sound-a-like voice artists to overdub the visuals but that’s probably because I’m less used to hearing John and George speak rather than sing. Ringo however is embedded due to my son going through a classic Thomas phase 😂

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I'm watching now... Well, listening really. I'm only an hour in but I'm not really sure what the footage adds to it if anything, apart from Paul's beard.

 

I have found myself giggling at George yawning prior to Paul harmonizing Get Back.

 

Those with better knowledge than I, did McCartney use fairly thin strings on his bass? Admitedly I've only been learning to finger pick but I can't see me being able to strum on my bass...

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I'm now about an hour and ten into episode 1. I am here for Ringo sitting at a drum kit hungover clearly just done with this shit. I am properly laughing every time I spot him in the background. He looks absolutely miserable and so so sick of everyone squabbling. It's brilliant.  

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Once episode 2 is in full swing with them back in a real studio it's really energised. They're clearly enjoying the process, removed from the constant chatter about deadlines, and the concept of whatever the live show turns out to be. It's almost as if the music itself is the most important thing 🤔

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Yeah, the change of climate forced by George, away from the film studio setting and into a more intimate studio made for them, made for making music, made a massive difference. And then when they get Billy Preston in to do the keys it really takes off. Like he reminded them what it was to sing and play together as a group of friends just having fun. You can see them actually wanting to be together and do stuff together again, and when he's not there as he's called away for a bit you can see it sliding back.

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Enjoying this. I've seen the clip of George saying to Paul that he'll play whatever he wants or even not play at all if he'd like, many times. Always reinforced the narrative to me that they were extremely fed up of each other at that time period. This gives much more context and makes it feel massively less ominous and pretty innocuous.

 

Love The Beatles.

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Big fan of the Beatles, but say someone who has little knowledge is it worth watching?. Last thing I want to do is bore someone watching this as it sounds like them just jamming which I dig, but for someone else it could be tedious and boring.

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It’s far too long and rambling for a casual fan. It’s the kind of thing that the fans who lapped up the Anthology album would be all over, multiple takes of the same song and all.

 

I’m a massive fan so I’m all in, but it could easily be cut down. Still have this version for the faithful, but you could have a much shorter version for casual viewings.

 

The difference in audio and visual is really distracting. I get it, I understand completely what they had to work with, but it doesn’t make it any easier to watch.

 

I agree with the earlier comment - 8/10 for me, maybe the most boring film ever made for non fans.

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If you're not into The Beatles I can't see how this would hold any appeal at all really. Not for the runtime involved. Unless you'd literally never heard them and somehow the music here did it for you, and pulled you in, which seems highly unlikely. They're mainly jams and rehearsals and bits of song development that repetition and experimentation give rise to. The people being filmed won't draw you in, because they obviously don't want to be part of the film in the first place and are often trying to put the filmmaker off; plus, there's no revelatory 'narrative' by the original filmmaker here at all. Just footage. I'd say it's only for people who are already really into the subject.

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11 hours ago, Gorf King said:

And while there's certainly a lot of it there, I think that's what people who are really familiar with the Beatles want to see. They want to see the minutiae of it all, as well as the broad strokes and bombs that land.

 

That minutiae is what fans want. After all, this is the band that got a 1700 page biography that only reaches up to about 1962. (I haven't read it, but I've heard that's where it stops.)

 

On the one hand there were people like Ian MacDonald, whose attitude towards the Anthology and Live at the BBC CDs in Revolution in the Head was essentially that there wasn't that much unheard material that was genuinely interesting enough to be worth releasing - certainly not eight discs' worth.

 

And at the opposite extreme there are the fans who complain: "Why wasn't [specific take that you can hear on bootlegs] included on the recent super deluxe edition of the White Album? We want to hear EVERYTHING!"

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I'm just about finished the first episode. I'm at the same time sorry for McCartney and a bit annoyed by him. He seems to be shitting himself that The Beatles are falling apart. He's coming up with stuff while the other three look bored. I'm surprised that Lennon in particular seems to be less vocal than Harrison. It's clear George and him are ready to move on. Ringo is just doing boom-tish-boom-tish until they come up with something that he can get his teeth into. Although the bit where McCartney is basically coming up with Get Back on the spot, George and Ringo start to look interested, then John arrives and joins in is pure gold.

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11 hours ago, wev said:

I'm watching now... Well, listening really. I'm only an hour in but I'm not really sure what the footage adds to it if anything, apart from Paul's beard.

 

I have found myself giggling at George yawning prior to Paul harmonizing Get Back.

 

Those with better knowledge than I, did McCartney use fairly thin strings on his bass? Admitedly I've only been learning to finger pick but I can't see me being able to strum on my bass...

 

Paul McCartney could get a tune out of a donkeys erect penis. I would still buy the five CD deluxe edition of the soundtrack with a poster of the donkeys dick.

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I'm not a huge fan of The Beatles. Don't get me wrong, I like their music, but they're not one of my favourite artists. However I really enjoyed the first part last night, I'm coming to it from always having enjoyed reading and learning about "modern" (by that I mean I wanted to continue with music at school, but all the music theory and studying the classic composers bored me, I loved when we covered Robert Johnson) musicians and this scratches that itch.

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Started to watch the first episode. 2 and a half hours???? The second episode is nearly THREE FUCKING HOURS??? It’s going to be longer than the Anthology that covered their entire career!!!

 

So far it’s really interesting, but typical of Peter Jackson’s latter output, far too bloated. While it might be painting a slightly different picture to the Let It Be film (where they were miserable and bickering and Paul was a bully), this paints it out that Paul was desperately trying to keep them together while trying to kid himself they wouldn’t split up, John Lennon looks like a mixture of boredom and inner rage (especially the bit when Michael Lindsey Hogg says they should do the concert at an orphanage), George has his wry humour but is fuming under the surface at not being taken seriously and Ringo just looks fucked. 


It’s a great showcase of how when the Beatles clicked with each other over a song, you can see magic being made, despite all the other noise that’s going on around them.

 

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It’s just so full of riches to devour.

 

Golden Slumbers with just McCartney on piano. After watching part 1 last night, I have been singing/humming:

 

“Sleep, pretty darling, do not cry
And I will sing a lullaby”

 

all morning and all of a sudden my 3 yr daughter sang it back to me. Made my day that.

 

I know things are not great with the band in the film but you can still see the love between them. That is really powerful to me.

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So is the Lennon/McCartney songwriting credit just something automated contract-wise? - Lennon seemingly just being there in the later years? 

 

Not being smart here, could be I'm just reading the situation wrong as I'm by no means a Beatles expert.

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18 minutes ago, krenzler said:

So is the Lennon/McCartney songwriting credit just something automated contract-wise? - Lennon seemingly just being there in the later years? 

 

Not being smart here, could be I'm just reading the situation wrong as I'm by no means a Beatles expert.

Yeah they had a deal to split the songwriting credit, despite loads of songs where only one of them actually wrote it.

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1 hour ago, krenzler said:

So is the Lennon/McCartney songwriting credit just something automated contract-wise? - Lennon seemingly just being there in the later years? 

 

Not being smart here, could be I'm just reading the situation wrong as I'm by no means a Beatles expert.


most of the way through. There are a load of songs where it’s obvious which one wrote it, then others where they disagreed about who wrote what. Occasionally there’s a one or another song which you think must be by one or another, and it’s actually by the other.

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