According to my son, Part I of The Beatles: Get Back, directed by Peter Jackson, was The Breaking of the Fellowship. Part II was The Two Studios (Twickenham and then Apple, you see). This, Part III, is The Return of the Live Performance.
So after having lost and regained a member and then rehearsing and recording, the Beatles finally perform on the rooftop of Barad-Dur—excuse me, Apple. And it goes off splendidly. And then after one more day of filming, they depart, and thus ends our 7+ hour documentary.
Is it good? Well, of course I’d say yeah; but I think if your average person is only going to watch one part, it should be this one (it’s also the shortest at 2 hr 18 min.). The rooftop sequence is brilliant, with Jackson making use of split screens to show us what’s going on at each minute (and yes, it’s the entire show!). I loved hearing so many middle-aged and elderly people going on enthusiastically about the music and the band. And, of course, there were some dissenters, and the bobbies who came round whom I honestly felt sorry for, since they clearly didn’t want to be there.
Highlights: Apart from the rooftop, Heather Eastman visiting the studio with her mom, running around talking about kittens and imitating Yoko’s wails with some of her own. (She clearly dug Yoko, which delights me.) Also an oldies medley which they jammed on, John singing the lead vocal on I’ve Got A Feeling when Paul had to leave for a while, and George’s obvious reluctance still to perform live.
Issues? They didn’t go into the Apple Studio performance of Two of Us, Let It Be and The Long and Winding Road, running split screen footage of it along with the credits. I wanted to see that, damn it. I suppose Jackson thought it would be an anticlimax. But it does give me hope that a restored Let It Be film will be issued sometime in the near future.
Also, for fuck’s sake, WHY couldn’t we get a complete Suzy Parker? Part II showed us part of it only. And Besame Mucho was left out too. See my comment above re the Let It Be film. My biggest disappointment with this entire album/film issue.
And I’ve said it elsewhere, but the restoration quality alone on both video and audio was reason enough for this project. Both gorgeous and much needed. No more grainy, faded pictures with hairs in the cameras. I love it.
Thank you, Peter Jackson. Now come on, Apple, give us a soundtrack album, even if it’s just the highlights. (And a release we can own somewhere down the pike.)
“I’d like to say thank you on behalf of the group and ourselves and I hope we passed the audition.”—John