The Beatles Get Back is a 2021 music documentary series directed and produced by Peter Jackson. It covers the making of the Beatles’ 1970 album Let It Be, which had the working title of Get Back, and draws from material originally captured for Michael Lindsay-Hogg’s 1970 documentary of the Let It Be album. The series was released in three parts on Disney+ over the Thanksgiving holidays 2021.
Director Peter Jackson eschews the usual expository interviews and has simply produced a ‘fly-on-the-wall’ experience drawn from the sixty hours of film footage and over 150 hours of audio made available to him by the surviving Beatles and Apple Corps. While superficially, Jackson attempts to super-impose a narrative over the three parts, to manufacture tension and drama, such constructs are ultimately irrelevant to the core of what The Beatles Get Back is.
Essentially, The Beatles Get Back is a secret treasure for diehard Beatles fans but an opaque mystery to casual followers and non-fans. For the uninitiated, it seems like a waste of time – and boring even – to simply be watching the Beatles rehearsing various songs from scratch and finding it hard to appreciate these works in progress. Also, unless one is a rabid fan of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr, we would have serious doubts whether anyone else would enjoy the hi-jinks, silly antics and tomfoolery that the members indulge in throughout the course of the series.
But for the people that count – the diehard fans – Get Back is gold, pure and simple. Peter Jackson should be lauded for presenting the Beatles totally unvarnished, warts and all, so that the world can understand the genius of their process and the attraction of their collective personality in probably the most difficult time of their existence before imploding the following year.
Now streaming on Disney+.
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