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Documentary: Composing Outside The Beatles: Lennon & McCartney 1967-1972
Starring:
Klaus Voormann (Actor), Paul Gambaccini (Actor)
An Emily Blunt Review

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Documentaries are (- can be -) a marvel. If done correctly, the film maker opens up a behind-the-scenes view of their subject you'd otherwise never be privy to.

Such is the case in one pure gem of a doc practically no one’s seen called, Composing Outside The Beatles: Lennon & McCartney 1967-1972. Another odd title with dynamic content.

Story goes ...Through point-blank conversation and detailed accounts the time of transition from being a Beatle to just being…watching two close friends and musical geniuses grow. And, even after 101910 Beatle docs, this is fresh.

Today we know Paul was set forth as “The Cute One”, and therefore the least to be slaughtered, to announce the end of The Fab Four. A precise measure to ease the blow …But, realities were far from simple. Some truths were known; the men had grown, got new significant others, and the group needed a kind of divorce.

The only way to grow, for John and Paul at least, was to go in separate directions. That, and Apple and money men were very much Big Blue Meanies into which McCartney marched straight into a long Shakespearian-like, not-so-cute battle with.

Composing Outside The Beatles: Lennon & McCartney 1967-1972 has marvelous clips and footage for any Beatle fan (including the Mike Douglas Show Lennon take over!). But it’s so much more. If you’re a music fanatic – the sort that enjoys the nitty gritty of what went into say the ultra-personal “God” by John Lennon, or McCartney’s “Maybe I’m Amazed” in it’s first incarnation as a simple raw ballad of love. You can not get this fast enough.

Keep your eye out for the teams; there’s clearly a couple of pro-John vs. Pro-Paul talkers, and kudos to the editors for snipping some clever bites together for a grand giggle, if you’ve just gotten, what was said between the lines; or snarked at at a clip with a bit of raw bite for that matter.

And in a not so between them their lines, is a chat about the infamous musical tantrum Lennon created and aimed at McCartney’s jugular in, “How Do You Sleep.” John was never one to hold back…ahem. But, in this song he attacks Paul on every level. The story you’ll watch behind the venom is any musical-lovers delight. But, in the end, the song is akin to say having had John drunk dialed and left a rant on a machine that goes viral. Or worse he went on FaceBook and talked about an ex-lover’s sexual abilities and other secrets couples keep. Simply not kosher amigo; just mean.

That being said, viewers will be rewarded with an immediate post “How Do You Sleep” eye-opener that proves the whole thing was simply a venting in a man’s time of life when emotions were high, and there was a deep love that had a fierce arrow plunged through; Lennon’s reaction was precisely what one should have expected….he’s a musician. He used his artillery to attack.

The ultimate take away from the piece is how similar these two remarkable talents were, while being so completely different. Each did precisely what they wanted; touring etc., with wives, political involvement (John), family first (Paul) and each needed a partner right there with them either as another Beatle or in the form of a wife. Be forewarned, this is by no means a mop-top Hard Day’s Night kinda feel-good romp. It is a grown up look at two of music’s most important contributors of all time. And it is as fascinating as it is long; in a very good way. But, say you’ve the attention span of a gnat? This is most certainly not for you. Composing Outside The Beatles: Lennon & McCartney 1967-1972 is a relentlessly entertaining document on a couple of remarkable friends who broke up, acted out, grew up, grew out and lived a long and winding road.

Snack Recommendation: Marmalade Skies and Apple pies in an English Garden with Uncle Albert and Mother.

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