Genre: Biography, Drama, Music
Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Runtime: 97 minutes
Ian Hart's second performance as John Lennon (the first was the little-seen The Hours and Times) commands attention in this marvelous musical bio of the Beatles in Hamburg directly before their stardom. The focus is on the "5th Beatle," Stuart Sutcliffe (Stephen Dorff), a bluesy bass guitar player who finds Germany has more interesting things (art and a woman) than music. The woman, Astrid (Sheryl Lee), chronicles the early years of the Beatles, and she falls in love with Stuart, a move that would influence many aspects of the Fab Four. Nearly overpowering the film is Hart in a great, energized performance of an artist on fire. The music was adapted for the movie, rediscovering the raw sound and ballistic energy in the back street clubs. These scenes of rock and genius intermixed with a nervy lead singer evoke similarities to Kurt Cobain and Nirvana. Directed by Iain Softley. --Doug Thomas
Hello, Ladies and Genitals. We're the band. You'll be happy to know we keep our clothes on. On drums, Mr. Pete Best! On guitar, Mr. Paul McCartney. On bass, recently arrived from the dark side of the moon, Mr. Stuart Sutcliffe. And on guitar, Mr. George Harrison. He's only just on solid food. My name is Lennon, John Winston Lennon. My parents named me after Churchill, John Churchill, the wet fish man. They were thinking of naming me after my father, but Dad's such a stupid fuckin' name, don't you think?
I liked your show. You had fun.
Fun? You call that fun?
What do you call it?
I call it three days and nights without sleep. I call it too long between drinks. I call it dying for a piss. I call it hard fuckin' days and nights.
Is he always like this?
No. You'd be surprised. He can be quite bitter and twisted.
Tell me something, John Lennon. When you are rich and famous, when you are number one, when your name is in lights and everybody wants to be your friend, when somebody asks you, "Do you remember Astrid in Hamburg?" what will you say?
I'll say she was the girl I always wanted. The girl of me dreams, like Brigitte Bardot with better manners. I might have fallen in love with her. But she fell in love with me best friend. And that was the end of that.
I love him, John.
Yeah. Don't we all?
Listen, you! If you wanna fight someone, fight me! If you don't wanna fight, then listen to the fucking band. If you don't want to listen to the fucking band, fuck off and choke to death. Do you understand me? Do you get me meaning, mate?
I can't fight you. You are wearing a dress.