50 Years The Beatles at Filmfest Hamburg

Filmfest Hamburg 2010 is honouring The Beatles with the section Strawberry Fields. Exactly 50 years ago the Fab Four had their first performance in St. Pauli. Then they got world famous. Another anniversary: John Lennon would have been 70 years old. Reason enough to show a film about his widely unknown early years.

Filmfest Hamburg will show on October 2nd the film Nowhere Boy (director: Sam Taylor Wood) as German premiere in the CinemaxX Dammtor. We see John Lennon and his mother who taught him to play banjo and who introduced him to the exiting new world of Rock’n’Roll. When Lennon met Paul McCartney, they started their first band. The last pictures of the film show how Lennon and his friends put their guitars in the car to drive off to Hamburg. Even Yoko Ono was enthusiastic about “Nowhere Boy” and the young main character, the British shooting star Aaron Johnson.

Filmfest Hamburg is honouring the legend also with a revival: on October 2nd during the day, two older movies about The Beatles will be shown in the cinema Passage: Backbeat (1994) and Hard Days, Hard Nights (1989). A trip back to sixties’ “Swinging Hamburg”: Four young Englishmen from Liverpool are coming to Hamburg to perform their songs in the beatclub “Herzpalast”. A few days later, their gigs are highly valued rock’n’roll-insiders’ tips. But nevertheless, Rick and the Rich Kids have to deal with the hardships of show business. The band is joined by a shy boy from the South Hamburg district of Wilhelmsburg who wants to become a famous pop star, and by his flamboyant girlfriend. Hard Days – Hard Nights tells a frantic story of changing times in local and musical history. Horst Königstein’s homage to the Star Club in Hamburg’s red-light district St. Pauli shows how Beat music finds its way into Germany. Soon prejudices against that wild music from England are overcome. On the English side, the bands “wash down the Nazi-resentments and hope for a career as pop stars” (tip, 18/1990). Horst Königstein: “My film is a surrogate of many stories that really happened and which I somewhat witnessed.”

As well, two documentary films will be shown: Ringo und die Stadt am Ende des Regenbogens (1977) and All You Need Is Klaus (2010). Even the Hamburg police has opened its archives and made some unpublished black and white material available about the arrival of the British instrumental and singing quartet in the Hanseatic City in 1966. “The commandership of the uniformed police” feared that some members of the audience would get in uncontrolled ecstasy because of this Bravo-Beatles-Blitz Tour in the Ernst-Merck-Halle.

But not only the music of The Beatles is ever-living, but as well the pictures of the band are an inherent part of pop history. The international known photographer Jürgen Vollmer is responsible for that. Already in the fifties, he was combing his hear in his front. That was at that time a rebellion. Vollmer was according to John Lennon the real inventor of their hair cut. 1st of October, Filmfest Hamburg will invite Vollmer for a discussion in the Deichtorhallen. There, he will present his new photo book Jurgen Vollmer: On Filmsets and Other Locations.

The section “Strawberry Fields” is being presented by the strawberry farm Glantz.

Now, “whatever happened to the 40th anniversary of the Let It Be film?”, is what we’re asking. A very good copy of the film was screened in a film club in USA last october, how come we don’t show it at European film festivals?

The full programme of the Filmfest Hamburg will be published at their website on September 15th. 

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