Friday, November 23, 2007

So Much Younger Than Today

Richard Lester and The Beatles followed up their delightfully effervescent and vastly entertaining A Hard Day’s Night in 1964 with Help!(1965, Capitol, 2-discs,90 minutes, $29.95), a leap into color and full-blown absurdity, a mere year later. The times they were indeed a –changing, with the Beatles (and their fans and admirers) in the process of losing their collective innocence, and Lester’s untidy romp still delights, the songs and mini-videos as fresh (and simple) as ever, although viewing them through the harsh contemporary light prompts a decidedly wistful feeling, rather than the vibe of pure enthralling exuberance the movie originally elicited. It’s a sweet and sad stop on the Pop Time Machine, and it ought to be required viewing for the grandkids of the baby boomers, and for the boomers themselves searching for some pre-Vietnam treasured memories. The extra disc details the restoration of the film, includes a making of documentary, and an interview with the still spry Lester.

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