I just had a great day with John. A couple of days ago, he suggested going to see Let It Be down at Greenwich Picturehouse, a small independent cinema not far away. I didn’t know much about Let It Be other than that it had something to do with The Beatles, but being a fan of Peter Jackson I was keen to see his latest film. I thus went into the cinema not quite knowing what to expect, but quite intrigued: for one, just how similar to Jackson’s other work, stylistically, would this film be?
The answer to that soon became obvious: Let It Be is about as far from an epic fantasy or classic gorilla remake as you can get. Instead, this was a wonderful documentary which cut together archive footage of the Beatles’ recordings for the video for the album Let it Be. Filmed originally on a rooftop in central London, the new film re-weaves together footage of the legendarry band playing with that of events going on around it: people on the street below looking up in shock upon hearing the music; the police trying to gain access to the building, trying to stop the recording for disturbing the peace. The film incorporates the most advanced use of split-screen I’ve ever seen, so we get a real sense of events happening simultaneously. The technique really draws you in, so that in the end you are mesmerised by this historical, cultural event taking place on a London rooftop over fifty years ago. At only about an hour long, this isn’t a long film; but it is a treat for both music lovers and cinephiles, well worth going to the cinema for. It would seem there’s far more to Peter Jackson than Hobbits.