‘The Beatles: Get Back’ Documentary: An Exclusive Look at Peter Jackson’s Revealing New Film


After speaking to McCartney in New Zealand, Jackson traveled to Starr’s home in Los Angeles to show her the footage on an iPad (“He was laughing, I was laughing”), and began corresponding with Olivia Harrison, the George’s widow, who supported him. behind the project despite documenting George’s displeasure. “She saw the rooftop concert around the same time as Paul,” Jackson explains. “She’s seen him about seven or eight times since then. She is very supportive.

But what about Ono? For decades, she has been a vigilant and shrewd guardian of Lennon’s legacy, a powerful and opinionated voice among the four parties who control how the Beatles’ music and story are preserved and reissued. McCartney, in interviews, attempted to correct Ono’s story that her late husband was the most important Beatle, the true genius of the band. As he told me in 2015, “Once John was murdered, he became the martyr, the Buddy Holly, the character of James Dean. It was because of the atrocity. A revisionism started to grow, and Yoko certainly helped him.

It is undeniable that the first cracks in the facade of the Beatles had already appeared at the time of the So be it sessions, and that fans and the press saw Ono as the plot’s pet peeve. For To recover, Jackson says Lennon’s son Sean represented Lennon’s estate and watched the footage on the rooftop in London last year. Ono’s current status is unclear, but Jackson says he’s not beholden to anyone’s agenda and had control over the final cut of the documentary. “I have [gotten] no edicts,” he said. “I mean, nobody from Apple, nobody from the Beatles, told me what to do, or none of them told me, ‘Don’t show this, don’t show that.’ I received no censorship instructions, I was left completely alone.

Jackson is aware of the delicacy of a project in which he questions the creative decisions of another filmmaker. He met Lindsay-Hogg in Los Angeles in 2020 to show how his technology could transform images. “He showed me a comparison of my So be itand his stuff,” says Lindsay-Hogg, including how McCartney’s hair appeared as a single block of color in the original and “now you can see every strand of hair.

Lindsay-Hogg defends her own film as more “original” and “up” than people remember. He also says that Apple has asked for its goodwill towards Jackson’s film, which he is looking forward to seeing, and that he thinks it is Apple’s intention to eventually re-release it. So be it a few months after Jackson To recover fate. (Quentin Tarantino’s movie theater in Los Angeles, the New Beverly Cinema, has expressed interest in screening So be it, if it is reissued, he says.)

As for Jackson, he’s developed a deeper admiration for the original, in part because of the circumstances in which Lindsay-Hogg worked, with an increasingly acrimonious band swirling around him. “The Beatles I’m dealing with now are Beatles who don’t remember January 1969,” Jackson says. “I mean, they literally can’t. Not really. And I don’t blame them.

In a decisive and pivotal creative act, Jackson says he avoided repeating footage from the original film. Even familiar scenes would use alternate camera angles. “One of our mantras is that So be it is a movie, and our movie is a different movie,” he says, “and we try not to repeat any footage, with one or two small exceptions where we can’t do anything else. But we try not to step on it So be itso that it is always a film that has a reason to exist, and our film will be the complement.

Fifty-one years after the band broke up, Jackson’s film is probably the last tell-all we’re likely to see. The fact that he also documents their last official album gives him a bittersweet power. Fans and scholars will likely debate whether To recover is a story revision or correction. But it’s something everyone dreams of: more Beatles. Jackson says, “Paul said to me at one point, ‘Look, this stuff is fantastic, because at the end of the day, I’m a Beatles fan.’ »

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