Peter Jackson is not the filmmaker of half-measures. And you shouldn’t expect a modest Beatles movie. Series Get Back, which begins this Thursday evening on Disney +, is actually a real monster, with its three episodes of an average duration of some 150 minutes, which makes a total of… 468 minutes.
We say “series”, but we should perhaps speak of a very long reality TV show, which takes us back to the making of from the album Let It Be. Or a filmic mise en abyme, since Get Back is nothing less than the making of of making of.
Anyway, let’s not be afraid of words: this documentary is a real event.
By dint of artificially inflated reissues, scratching drawer bottoms, squeezing lemons and compilations pulled by the beard and hair, we ended up giving up all hope of having something really interesting to eat. .
Most Get Back is of another caliber. Made from 200 hours of rushes from the original Michael Lindsay-Hogg documentary, which slept in Apple’s storerooms, Peter Jackson’s film offers an orgy of never-before-seen images that shed new light on the January 1969 sessions. .
Forget the accusations of revisionism. The director did not water down the sad memory of the film Let It Be. The famous tensions are still there. Paul is annoying. George (temporarily) leaves the group. Yoko sometimes pushes the note (high).
But with 7 hours 48 minutes of film, the director offers a much more complete story, and therefore more nuanced.
Fact, Get Back is not at all a film about the Beatles’ separation. It is an unprecedented dive into their creative process. Ultra-famous songs are literally born before our eyes. Rotten jams turn to gold. Delusions lead to masterpieces.
There is something hallucinating to see Paul hammering the first chords of Get Back, John seek his voice for I Got a Feeling or George kid on a draft of Something. And we exchange ideas. And we put vocal harmonies in the mouth. All this effortlessly. Fingers in the nose.
It’s also fascinating during the grand finale on the roof of the Apple company. Guys don’t even have to look at each other. Everything is natural. Liverpool and the Hamburg years are never far away. Their connection goes back a long way and is obvious.
The concert, which takes up most of the last episode, is reproduced here on a split screen, with comments from passers-by as a counterpoint to the songs.
Apology for “non-moments”
True that Get Back has its lengths. There are scenes that stretch. Revealing but endless discussions. Boredom. John eats a cookie. Ringo fart. The musicians exchange instruments. We open a bottle. Linda comes by for a walk. the roadie bring sandwiches. The sound engineer taps his pitons. Everyone smokes cigarettes. It laughs well.
But it is also in these “non-moments” that Get Back is a precious document. Because they give us to see four old boyfriends in their natural surroundings, with their entourage, which makes them even more real, more alive.
An experience bordering on immersion, to which contributes the impressive quality of sound and images restored by Peter Jackson.
Downsides, however, on the choice to “reveal” private conversations between the Beatles captured at the time by more or less hidden microphones. They undoubtedly serve the story, but questions may arise …
Ditto for this Disney + exclusive, which will probably make some of them angry. The price to pay, no doubt, for this film obviously intended for (many) fans willing to do anything to fill up on The Beatles.
With Ringo Starr, George Harrison, John Lennon and Paul McCartney. On Disney +, November 25, 26 and 27.