"Get Back": what we still discover about the Beatles

The event documentary on The Beatles, broadcast from Friday on Disney +, reveals images never before seen by the public, and a new point of view on their separation.

“The movie made me love my dad again,” said Julian Lennon, eldest son of John Lennon after watching all three episodes of The Beatles: Get back, documentary by Peter Jackson on the last moments of the group before its separation, broadcast from this Friday on Disney +.

If the documentary changed Julian Lennon’s outlook, it is undoubtedly because it offers a joyful reinterpretation of this period, depicted in a first documentary entitled Let It Be, signed Michael Lindsay-Hogg, in 1970, in a much darker light.

“I am really happy that Peter [Jackson] ventured into our archives to make a film that shows the truth about The Beatles recording together. The friendship and love between us is palpable and reminds me of the beautifully crazy times we had, ”Paul McCartney said in a Disney statement.

More than fifty years later, the director of Lord of the Rings succeeded in going beyond this negative vision of a dying group, by drawing in almost sixty hours of archival footage, and 150 hours of sound recording. For four years, he worked on this formidable material, to extract treasures from it. Above all, he offered these images a superb restoration, shown on a documentary on the First World War, For fallen soldiers, in 2018.

• Forty minutes of unpublished live

He notably unearthed forty minutes of live performance, broadcast here for the first time in full. This is a concert given by The Beatles on the roof of their company building in Savile Row, in the heart of London. The last public performance of the group. Peter Jackson returned these images to their vividness, his fireman’s red coat to Ringo Starr and his mint green pants to George Harrison.

"Get Back", the documentary by Peter Jackson, broadcast on Disney +.
“Get Back”, the documentary by Peter Jackson, broadcast on Disney +. © Disney +

• An unsuspected bond

If the documentary Let it be, in 1970, insisted on the tensions between the four artists, their disputes and creative disagreements, lastingly marking the minds of the fans, Peter Jackson was struck, by discovering the tens of hours of rush, by the artistic and friendly complicity, that remained between the four Beatles.

“As individuals, they still have a very friendly relationship. They are very funny to each other. There is not a single moment in all these hours of rushes where one has an inappropriate word towards the other. (…) The tone never rises between them “, underlines the director in Paris Match this Thursday.

Get Back even changed Paul McCartney’s perception of the band’s breakup, as he told the Sunday Times last November 13. This allowed him to understand that the separation was not his doing, but also the joy that the four musicians had to compose together.

“I’ll tell you, what’s really fabulous about this documentary is that it shows the four of us having a blast.”

• A forgotten collaboration

Paul McCartney also (re) discovered thanks to the titanic work of Peter Jackson, that he had co-written the song of John Lennon, Gimme some truth, during their sessions at Savile Row.

“I showed him these pictures of the sessions Get Back where Paul and John are working on Gimme Some Truth, explained director Jackson. “Paul found this ‘money for rope’ thing that John loves. Paul looked at me and said, ‘I have no recollection of it. I didn’t know I was involved in this song.’

• An unknown John Lennon

If Julian Lennon, who was 5 when his parents separated, and 17 when his John was shot, rediscovered his father by watching all three episodes of Get Back, he is not the only one to have been surprised.

Peter Jackson also expected to find in John Lennon “a constantly angry loudmouth”, as he explains to Paris Match. “But no, he’s charming, relaxed, happy, patient, funny,” he says.

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