What an amazing couple of hours.
The first part of the documentary series, The Beatles: Get Back from director Peter Jackson debuted on Disney + on Thanksgiving with part 2 coming tomorrow and part 3 on Saturday. On the whole, there is over 8 hours of footage in the three parts detailing the “Get Back” sessions that helped lead to the break up of the Beatles.
I loved the way Peter Jackson stayed out of the way here and let the footage tell the story. He would throw in some on screen text when the narrative needed a little specificity, but there was no sign of a voice over and no talking heads who want to hang on to the groups success (I’m looking at you Beatles: Up Close & Personal).
Jackson gained the footage of these sessions, which had originally been intended as a documentary back in 1969-70, and he arranged it to show not only the creative process of one of the most brilliant bands in music history, but also how that creativity put strains on the individuals in the group and how it led to an eventual split.
Watching the Beatles, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr for those of you living under a rock, working through arrangements of a group of brand new songs on a deadline because of a TV special they were going to record was utterly fascinating. The creative process that these men showed during this was inspiring and quite impressive. The songs we knew, but they were in mid creation so some lyrics were rough and incomplete.
You could feel the tension between the group, especially with Paul and George, who clashed over the guitar bits throughout the part 1. John seemed to be constantly late to the sessions, which was also called out by the boys.
Part 1 ends with George Harrison having left the sessions saying that he was done, that he was leaving the Beatles. The film let us know that they set up a meeting with the Beatles on a Sunday and, ominously, the meeting did not go well.
I’m very excited for part two tomorrow on Disney +.