Dedications: My four late friends Rory, Stan, Bryan, Jeff - shine on you crazy diamonds, they would have blogged too. Then theres Garry from Brisbane, Franco in Milan, Mike now in S.F. / my '60s-'80s gang: Ned & Joseph in Ireland; in England: Frank, Des, Guy, Clive, Joe & Joe, Ian, Ivan, Nick, David, Les, Stewart, the 3 Michaels / Catriona, Sally, Monica, Jean, Ella, Anne, Candie / and now: Daryl in N.Y., Jerry, John, Colin, Martin and Donal.

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

The Beatles HELP! on Blu-ray ....

From 1964 (below) to '65: HELP! just out on Blu-ray is exactly the same as on dvd - same graphics, artwork, booklet, and the same extras as on the 2007 dvd (see Beatles label), just in the different package size. I wish I had checked my dvd before I ordered the Blu-ray. There is the same introduction by Richard Lester and the same appreciation by Martin Scorsese ... it is just an exact duplicate apart from being in Blu-ray.
I am only a recent convert to Blu-ray, and have not bothered to re-buy too many films in the new format (ok, HELP! is the sixth so far .... at least the Blu-rays of films like 2001, THE SERVANT, BILLY LIAR have new material, interviews etc.) and I won't be shelling out for too many if they are just putting out the same stuff with nothing new. Its brilliant but lazy marketing to put out exactly the same stuff, not even new graphics, for the Blu-ray people to buy again. Chutzpah or what !  
(Left: Films& Filming August 65 issue on the new pop films, I wonder why I cut a picture out of the cover ....).

I was actually going to write about Scorsese's appreciation of the film, but its not new, he did it back in 2007. Just how many others has Marty introduced? I already have his for editions of JOHNNY GUITAR and EL CID, and I have an an audio commentary he did on BLACK NARCISSUS with Michael Powell.. He makes good points though bracketing Lester with Antonioni and Resnais as an important '60s director "inventing new narrative techniques and re-defining the vocabulary of cinema as he went along - everyone was experimenting around this time, Antonioni with BLOW-UP, Truffaut with FAHRENHEIT 451, Fellini and Godard with every movie - HELP! was just as exciting".

I will just be pleased to revel in the surreal comedy (the boys pulling up to the four houses which open into one inside, as Dandy Nichols says how unchanged they are; the brilliant farce of Spinetti, Cargill, Kinner, McKern and the delicious Eleanor Bron, and the great songs shot like first pop videos
- in the Alps for "Ticket to Ride" and the Bahamas for "Another Girl". If you were a teenager then, and I was 19, to be able to see them in colour on the large screen was bliss. George's "I Need You" was always sheer perfection for me. So now its in Blu-ray even if everything else in the package is just the same. 
A year after THE LEATHER BOYS, below, that grim black and white look at 1964, England suddenly burst into colour with HELP! everywhere ... as it was now the new mod era. Leather boys and rockers were suddenly old hat ... it had started of course with A HARD DAY'S NIGHT in '64, suddenly zaniness and the new music were in. Before that British pop movies were those Cliff Richard spectaculars or Billy Fury in the oddity PLAY IT COOL, courtesy of Michael Winner. Richard Lester though upped the ante with the Beatles and THE KNACK ... 
Next: more 1965 magazines ...

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