Release Date: 12/07/10
Rating: Not Rated
Number Of Discs: 1
Director: Michael Epstein
Actors: John Lennon, Yoko Ono
Synopsis: LENNONYC is the story of one of the most famous and influential artists of the Twentieth Century, and how he found redemption not in the public adoration he craved as a youth, but in the quiet and simple pleasures of fatherhood. And, though he wasn’t a typical immigrant, his story is certainly an immigrant’s tale. Lennon came to New York City in 1971, seeking what every other immigrant who has washed up on its shores has sought: freedom-the freedom to be himself and not ‘Beatle John,’ the freedom to love without the overwhelming public scorn he and Yoko had suffered in London, and, simply, the freedom to live a normal life.
LENNONYC tells this story with never before-released in-studio recordings, concert film only recently transferred to HD, and a trove of Lennon/Ono compositions-some in versions previously unheard. It also contains interviews with those closest to Lennon during this period in his life-friend and photographer, Bob Gruen; musical collaborator and drummer, Jim Keltner; May Pang, Lennon’s companion during his ‘lost weekend;’rock superstar, Elton John; and Jack Douglas, the producer of Double Fantasy. LENNONYC also contains one of the most powerful and emotionally direct interviews Yoko Ono has ever given. No film about John Lennon has ever covered this story with the same breadth and depth as LENNONYC.
As the public turns its attention to what would have been Lennon’s 70th birthday and the 30th anniversary of his murder LENNONYC uniquely commemorates the life of one of the most important and influential artists of the Twentieth Century-someone whose life and work is as powerful and relevant today as it has ever been.
Review: Before watching Lennon Naked I took in Lennon NYC which chronicles John’s time living in New York City, his fight against the war, against deportation, and against losing sight of what’s truly important in his life, which as it turns out is his family in the end.
What’s clear in watching this it that John had many hats to wear and like most of us things tended to slip through the cracks and don’t notice until it gets really bad. With John he was so busy trying to save the world and get his music out there that he missed most of Julian’s childhood and at one point drove Yoko away. Seeing his life presented this way gives us new insight to the man and while he did many important things after The Beatles his best and most touching moments turned out to be when he just wanted to settle down and play dad.
Documentaries are difficult, how does one encapsulate someone’s life in 115 minutes? Lennon NYC breaks away from trying to tell his life’s story and just focuses in on his time living in New York and how that changed him and how he changed New York and those closest to him. This is a fine example of how a biographical documentary can be done and its worth a look to anyone who is a fan of John, the Beatles or both.