This film is about a hundred times better than it had any right being. It creates a simultaneously perfectly real world, and one that cannot possibly exist. I’ve seen it so many times, and I’m still crazy about it.

united kingdom, 1964, english


A Hard Day’s Night

I’ve been obsessed with The Beatles for what feels like my entire life. It would not be hyperbolic to say I cannot remember a time when I didn’t love them. Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite is one of the first songs I remember loving, on a cassette tape someone gave me when I was maybe eight or nine. I love them so much, I almost cannot believe they were real. I can’t fathom how these people found each other. How they made this incredible music.

My father has always claimed that if I had been alive when they were around, I would not have been a fan at all. He thinks I would have been a Rolling Stones fan. Back in those days that was a major divide. You were for one or the other, not both. The Beatles were the pop band, and The Stones were the band for the cool kids. If you were a serious music fan, the choice was clear. I’ve always found it touching that my father thinks I would have been for The Stones. He’s probably right, too.

Of course I wasn’t alive back then, and so I don’t see any need for the dichotomy. I can love The Beatles and enjoy The Stones. Crazy I know. I just cannot imagine a band going on a more dramatic journey than they did. It would be like Britney Spears suddenly releasing an album of music that convinced everyone who had ever written her off that she was a serious artist. The Beatles were a boy band, and then they really weren’t. I doubt we’ll ever see any artist have the luxury of that dramatic a transformation again.