Magical Mystery Tour film discussion

Discussion in 'Visual Arts' started by NaturalD, Apr 18, 2017.

  1. ohnothimagen

    ohnothimagen PORKCHOPS! Productions

    Lennon said that the "fat woman with spaghetti" sequence was based on a dream. The character Lennon played -the slicked back waiter- was inspired by Julia's post-Freddie beau.
     
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  2. Jerquee

    Jerquee Forum Resident

    Location:
    New York, NY
    I don't watch it often but I'd rather have it then not. I never thought it sucked so much that it wasn't worth existing. There are enough good parts to keep me interested. Plus, it was an ephemeral idea, not a planned, crafted work. I take it as that and don't get hung up.
     
  3. Purple Jim

    Purple Jim Forum Resident

    Location:
    Little Britain
    I saw it on our black and white TV when it was initially broadcast! Through my child's eyes, I liked the surreal atmosphere of the film, a bit like The Prisoner or Jonathan Miller's Alice In Wonderland film.
    I bought it on videocassette years later and found it even more fascinating. I love it.
     
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  4. HfxBob

    HfxBob Forum Resident

    It's bloody awful but it's the bloody Beatles.
     
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  5. Rne

    Rne Forum Resident

    Location:
    Malaver
    I haven't seen it again since its bluray re-release. The music clips are generally very good, but the film is, in my opinion, a waste of time. Maybe it has to do with me having a black and white TV set :nyah:.
     
  6. Fivebyfive

    Fivebyfive Forum Resident

    Location:
    East coast, US
    I've always loved Blue Jay Way.

    Much of this conversation about MMT always reminds me of the way people react to modern art or to avant garde stuff in general -- you either love it or hate it.
     
  7. HfxBob

    HfxBob Forum Resident

    Sometimes even avant garde art suffers from being done fast and sloppy.
     
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  8. ohnothimagen

    ohnothimagen PORKCHOPS! Productions

    "Avant Garde A Clue" - George Harrison
    "I've suffered for my art, now it's yer turn!" - Neil Innes
     
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  9. HfxBob

    HfxBob Forum Resident

    Nice one. :righton:
     
  10. Fivebyfive

    Fivebyfive Forum Resident

    Location:
    East coast, US
    Well I'm no expert on avant garde art. I just think MMT has some cool moments and I don't watch it expecting AHDN. I know it's weird and meandering, and I'm OK with that. John's quote about MMT (although I'm sure he contradicted himself about this depending on how pissed off he was at Paul in any given moment) to an interviewer: "You probably think it was more f--ked up than I do, because you like professionalism, y'know. But I enjoyed the fish-and-chip quality of Magical Mystery. The fact that we went out with a load of freaks and tried to make a film is great, you know?" :laugh:

    One of the many things I like about this bizarre little film is that the Beatles chose to make the romantic lead of their movie not some hot young couple but a short old guy and a fat lady. And not to make fun of them but to actually celebrate their falling in love. That bit where Ivor Cutler and Jesse Robbins walk down the beach and kiss, and he draws a heart in the sand around her? It's a lovely message for a Beatles movie.
     
  11. NumberEight

    NumberEight Forum Resident

    The haunting quality of Ivor Cutler's unused I'm Going In A Field far outshines the contrived performances in the released version of the film. It should never have been left on the cutting room floor.
     
  12. ohnothimagen

    ohnothimagen PORKCHOPS! Productions

    Hey man, you know this forum...in a Beatles discussion where avant garde crops up in the talk, you know someone's gonna bust out that Harrison quote:laugh:
     
  13. HfxBob

    HfxBob Forum Resident

    There's a great hippie spirit behind MMT, no doubt.
     
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  14. kollektionist

    kollektionist Forum Resident

    Location:
    EU
    Jeeeez ! It's like being in a Yoko Ono thread here !
     
  15. NaturalD

    NaturalD Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Boston, Mass., USA
    I love the claims that it's too avant garde for those of us who can't "appreciate" it. Fandom in its purest essence. (I am envisioning Werner Herzog or Wim Wenders seeing the "eyes in his head" shot and deciding to just leave filmmaking to the masters. :) )
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2017
  16. Mazda

    Mazda Well-Known Member

    The MMT movie has nothing to do with avant garde... except in a (very) kitsch way. Avant-garde is meant to be thought provoking and usually (not a rule) shies away from entertainment. I see the connections with avantgarde and The Beatles music, I even recognize some in Sgt. Pepper and all, but not in the MMT movie. Even the surrealistical sequences in the movie were passé by then, really.
     
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  17. Fivebyfive

    Fivebyfive Forum Resident

    Location:
    East coast, US
    But nobody made that claim, despite your rush to hurl the old "fandom" accusation. At no point did anyone suggest the movie was "too avant garde" for its detractors to appreciate. You read it that way but the point was only that people react to MMT with extreme dislike -- the way many folks often react to modern art, or to Yoko's music. I am certainly not waving the masterpiece flag here about MMT. I just like it.
     
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  18. Prudence1964

    Prudence1964 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Upstate NY
    It's a fun watch. It's not great cinema. But, I get a kick out of it and you can't complain about the music.
     
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  19. NaturalD

    NaturalD Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Boston, Mass., USA
    I was responding to this.

    I did read your post that way too, but that was in the context of the whole "avant garde" discussion that was going on.
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2017
  20. Dog Ear

    Dog Ear Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Chicago
    If nothing else, MMT includes the song Death Cab For Cutie by the Bonzo Dog Do-Dah Band. The song title lent itself nicely to a yet unnamed indie band from the state of Washington some 30 years later.
     
  21. Fivebyfive

    Fivebyfive Forum Resident

    Location:
    East coast, US
    I didn't say what you think I said. And I'm not sure No. 44 did, either, but I won't speak for that person. ... At any rate, the "you-only-like-this-because-you're-a-fan" argument is a dead end.
     
  22. GubGub

    GubGub Forum Resident

    Location:
    Sussex
    I'm not sure what people find unwatchable about MMT. It is less than an hour long after all.

    Is it incoherent? Completely.

    Is it terrible? No because the musical sequences which are its raison d'etre are mostly wonderful and beautifully shot and edited given the available technology of the time.

    Where I can imagine that it would disappoint would be seeing it on a big cinema screen, a medium for which it was not intended. It was shot on 16mm for TV. It is meant to be seen on a small(ish) domestic screen (but not in black and white which is how the BBC originally broadcast it, thereby bamboozling even more people). Don't go looking for plot. It is not meant to be Help. It is closer to something like The Running, Jumping, Standing Still Film of which the Beatles were known to be fans. The skits are just a device to knit the musical sequences together.
     
  23. dewey02

    dewey02 Forum Resident

    Location:
    The Far North
    Wendy Winters: "If you look out the left side of the bus, you won't see much. Ah, but if you look out the right...."

    Something similar could have been said at the beginning of the film: "If you look at your television screen for the next 50 minutes, you won't see much. Ah, but if you 'roll one up' and then look...."
     
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  24. petem1966

    petem1966 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Katy, TX
    I've always enjoyed it, I like the trippy, surreal feel of it. It's fun, a bit of British hippy weirdness, meant in a good way I think. Mostly harmless.
     
  25. David Austin

    David Austin Well-Known Member

    Location:
    West Sussex
    I think it's an enjoyable short film. As a whole it may not be very coherent, but it's got a number of amusing moments, some arresting imagery - though it may be a bit uncomfortable or creepy in parts - but mainly it's about the music. And considering that it was shot on 16mm, the Blu-Ray looks really good. I don't watch it that often, but it's well worth seeing occasionally (it might be worth trying it as a 'support film' - remember them? - for 2001: A Space Odyssey).
     
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