For his one-night-only representation, Ron Howard set the bar high and delivered. Just when we thought we couldn’t hear any more about the overly popular Beatles, ‘Eight days a week: the touring years’ had its audience fall in love with the four brits all over again.
As did the band in most of their songs, the documentary does not start off on an hushed note but straight with some original footage from their early concert at Manchester’s ABC Cinema, giving a quality opening to what will be over two hours of fun rediscovering a band we thought we knew all about.
Without having the pretention of being an in-depth analysis of the phenomenon, the documentary about the band’s early touring years manages to put things into perspective and shows the journey of those 4 Scouser lads who went from playing in local basements to worldwide sensation to Londonian recluses hipsters in just under a decade.
Along with exclusive interviews of Ringo Star and Paul Mc Cartney (back then and today), it mainly broadcasts original footage from their international tours but especially of all those backstage moments having us realise what the Beatles really were all along: four lads having a laugh. From getting high shooting their movie in the Bahamas to hiding in palaces’ bathrooms or pranking each other during live interviews, you can’t help but dying to be their best friend.
Behind the scenes
The Beatlemania is merely represented by tailored suits, songs instantly turning into n°1 hits and an incredibly high percentage of girls somehow bursting into tears at the sight of bowl haircuts. But what is little less known is how the Fab Four stood up again segregation in Alabama, pissed off half of America through wrongly picked Lennon’s words, almost got killed after several of their concerts or mentally broke down after their record-breaking concert at New-York’s Shea Stadium in front of 56,000 fans.
Those rare images truly show the evolution of those men who grew up within an ever-changing society that went through assassinations, racial crimes or religious outbursts, and tried to adapt. Fame too quickly turned those boys into men before breaking those men down, only to have them bounce back thanks to the strength and support their brotherhood brought to each other.
To the chill notes of ‘Don’t let me down’ filmed on the rooftop of their Abbey Road studios, the credits appear but no one stands up, the public knows they’re in for a treat. The closing bonus? A 30-minutes footage of their historic Shea Stadium concert, remastered in the Abbey Road studios, during which viewers got to witness the intensity of each minute spent on stage but especially the strong bound uniting Paul, John, George and Ringo.
We will not go on even more about how joyful this throwback to the 60′ made us fell because you truly have to see it for yourself. Not in cinemas though as September 15th was the only theatrical showing ever but the documentary is available on Hulu from this week-end onwards and is set to come out on DVD in the next few weeks although this will not include the Shea Stadium concert as this had been a gift from Apple Corp for theatrical showing only.