Wednesday, April 25, 2012

A Hard Day's Night

Over a 24 hour period or so, The Beatles dodge hordes of adoring fans, try to keep Paul's rascally grandfather in line, pick on Ringo, and even manage to find a few moments of peace and revelry in a sparse field while they prepare for their latest television broadcast. Filmed on a shoestring and rushed to theaters at the height of Beatlemania, "A Hard Day's Night" is a rollicking, whimsical, and irreverent pseudo-documentary recreating and imagining what a day in the life of the Fab Four would be like. Director Richard Lester employs a number of exhilarating techniques that give the form a free flowing feel. The film greatly depicts the exploits of John, Paul, George, and Ringo in a series of light and humorous vignettes, including that of Wilfrid Brambell who is a particular treat as Paul's mischievous grandpa. It also features wonderful concert footage and a fine array of their early tunes including "Can't Buy Me Love", "She Loves You", and the title track. "A Hard Day's Night" gloriously captures a pop phenomenon that has shook the world like nothing since and seemingly does so without effort.