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Peter Jackson Restores the Beatles

Documentary listens in shortly before the band's breakup
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 24, 2021 7:10 PM CST
Get Back Gives a New Look at Beatles' Twilight
Paul McCartney and his daughter Mary McCartney arrive at the premiere of the film "The Beatles: Get Back' on Tuesday in London.   (Photo by Joel C Ryan/Invision/AP)

(Newser) – If the Beatles' final days are legend—a collision of various, usually conflicting narratives argued by fans for decades—Peter Jackson would seem a logical choice to reconsider the myth. In his hands, The Beatles: Get Back provides a fresh take, per a Wall Street Journal review: "joyous, tedious, euphoric and fab." The maker of the Lord of the Rings films took almost 60 hours of outtakes from the Beatles' Let It Be sessions in 1969 and produced a nearly eight-hour documentary that debuts Thursday, Friday, and Saturday on Disney+. Technology helps make the film look like the video was just taken, per the Journal. Some myths about the band seem to be debunked, other confirmed. Other coverage:

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Making it real: Jackson brings the Beatles, frozen in time since that period, back to life, "a flesh-and-blood working band," per the Guardian. "Watching them interact—occasionally irritably but often with good humor—feels as close as we'll ever come to deciphering their magic."
Listening in: The Beatles knew they were being recorded at all times, so they made loud noises on their guitars to cover their personal conversations, per the Irish Examiner. But the algorithms that Jackson came up with for his World War I film, They Shall Not Grow Old, took the guitar sounds out. The chats are no longer private.
The myths: The documentary clears Yoko Ono of breaking up the band, per the AP, though McCartney jokes she'd get the blame. And it partly shows McCartney as the controlling force he's been accused of being. The Beatles indeed were slowly breaking up. But they still collaborated, and there was still joy—especially in their famed rooftop performance. After this, despite the tension, they worked together again to make Abbey Road.
And in the end: Upset at Paul McCartney's condescension toward him, George Harrison leaves the sessions at one point. A microphone in a flowerpot caught McCartney telling John Lennon he expected Harrison to come back. "And probably, when we're all very old, we'll all agree with each other and we'll all sing together," he said. Only McCartney and Ringo Starr remain. (Read more Beatles stories.)

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