Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter Beatles

Happy Easter morning! Bright and sunny, with a springtime chill--very nice, particularly after the daylong rain of yesterday. Before we head off to the services at Trinity Church here in Asbury Park, I thought I would let you know that The Showroom, a new(er) space on Cookman Avenue, is showing old movies. Last night at 7 p.m. and today again at 4 p.m., they are showing the Beatles first movie "A Hard Days Night." Like Elvis' films, this band film was intended purely as a marketing gimmick, designed to take advantage of the Beatles' enormous popularity with the younger crowd in corny, G-rated comedy (ratings didn't exist then, but the idea was the same). The result is a silly romp that nonetheless shows off the underground appeal of the four "moptops" ("cheeky lads," the British media always said). It is hard to believe now, but the Beat Generation loved "A Hard Days Night" and saw it as part of the ascendancy of the youth of America into a position of power. Probably they were right.

I don't think the Beatles in Liverpool ever dreamed of making a career in movies, and their film legacy is an almost accidental creation, a byproduct of their stardom more than their talents as a recording and performing musical unit. But it is a fascinating legacy and the films remain engaging and wild. And the canon begins with "A Hard Days Night."


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