John Lennon: ‘The Final Year’ in a new documentary

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The final year of John Lennon’s life is to be explored in a new documentary timed to mark the 40th anniversary of the death of The Beatles singer and guitarist.

The final year of John Lennon’s life is to be explored in a new documentary timed to mark the 40th anniversary of the death of The Beatles singer and guitarist.

John Lennon: The Final Year will look at the musician’s life in 1980 before he was tragically assassinated at age 40 by Mark Chapman outside The Dakota on December 8 1980.

British distributor Drive has boarded for international sales and will start talks with global broadcasters and streaming platforms at the forthcoming Realscreen market in New Orleans.

 

The film is produced by Reda Films, the company behind Nat Geo’s Emmy-nominated Brothers in War, and The Queen and Us producer History Television International.

In 1980, ten years on from the breakup of The Beatles, Lennon emerged from a five-year hiatus to release the album Double Fantasy, which contained songs written during his trip to Bermuda and songs written and performed by his wife Yoko Ono. The documentary will feature never-seen archive material and interviews with those who spent time with him during the year.

Another documentary will examine John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s relationship before and leading up to the album’s release. John & Yoko: Above Us Only Sky features new interviews with Yoko Ono, Julian Lennon, and the musicians who played on Imagine, among others.

A new trailer for the film, shows the couple spending time on the estate where they recorded Imagine, while others recount the time they spent together and how they would collaborate, with Ono writing lyrics next to Lennon. The film is due out September 13th, and will be available digitally, as well as on DVD and Blu-ray.

Recently,fifty years after John Lennon and Yoko Ono famously staged a honeymoon “bed-in” for peace in an Amsterdam hotel, a Dutchman has unearthed 30 minutes of colour footage of the event from his cellar.

The couple spent a week mostly under the sheets at the Hilton hotel to spread a pacifist message — smoking, eating, singing and playing guitar while receiving journalists for interviews. (Sourge AGENCE FRANCE PRESS- to read all click here)

The European leg of their honeymoon, which included an unusual press conference in Vienna with the glamour pair obscured inside a giant “bag”, was a huge media event — each step captured by photographers and videographers.

The video below IS NOT the one resurfaced

This included a Dutch team shooting footage for a two-part, 84-minute documentary, a kind of video diary filmed at the pair’s request.

It was broadcast only once, shortly after the honeymoon, and shown at the Edinburgh Film Festival the same year before disappearing into the archives of broadcaster KRO, where Jan Hovers was employed in the 1980s.

During a major cleanup of used film reels, he stumbled upon a tin marked: “Mr & Mrs Lennon’s Honeymoon” among others earmarked for the rubbish heap.

“I asked if I could keep it and they said: ‘No problem, it will all be destroyed anyway’,” Hovers told the Nieuwsuur current affairs programme broadcast Sunday.

He said he watched the footage with great pleasure, but then “forgot about it”.

“I never thought it could be unique material. I thought it was a copy. There was no internet of course, so one could not check.”

As Amsterdam marks the 50th anniversary of the unusual honeymoon, a former colleague remembered that Hovers had once mentioned the find to him.

The colleague “knocked on the door and said: ‘Didn’t you have a film of John and Yoko from the time?’ Only then did I fetch it from the cellar,” Hovers said.

 

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