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John and Yoko: Above Us Only Sky (2018)John and Yoko: Above Us Only Sky (2018)

In the middle of the breakup of the Beatles in late 1969, John Lennon and Yoko Ono escaped the crush and chaos of fame by moving to a hundred-acre estate about thirty miles west of London called Tittenhurst Park. There he built his own studio, and recorded his first two solo albums and one of the most famous songs ever written — "Imagine," which was also the name of the complete album that was released in the fall of 1971. In the end, just two years later, such isolation and seclusion were not the life for Yoko, and so in August of 1971 they moved to New York City and never returned to Tittenhurst. This ninety-minute musical documentary includes never-before-seen footage of those two short years, along with interviews with numerous people who were close to John and Yoko at that special time and place — his secretary, studio engineer, photographer, chief assistant, son Julian, and several music critics. There's the ominous producer Phil Spector in a three-piece suit (!), drummer Jim Keltner, bassist Klaus Voorman, and George Harrison (who's in the film but only as a background figure). The movie is interspersed with footage of the cultural upheaval of the day, namely, the Vietnam war and the civil rights movement. This film will have special appeal to baby boomer music lovers. I watched it on Netflix.

Dan Clendenin:

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