Hear that famous opening chord, and you’re theirs. Beatlemania rules forever in this 50th anniversary digital restoration of the Fab Four’s headlong assault on the toppermost of the poppermost.
Screened as part of Autumn Events 2015
“2014 marks the 50th anniversary of the first release of A Hard Day’s Night, and to mark the occasion Janus Films and the Criterion Collection released a glorious new 4K digital restoration with a remixed and remastered soundtrack produced by Giles Martin (son of longtime Beatles producer George Martin). The movie certainly hasn’t looked or sounded this good since 1964 and the net effect is one of wonder and revelation. Two of the four Beatles are long dead and those screaming tween girls in their audience are collecting their pensions, but the movie delivers a tremendous jolt of youthful energy, a combination of cheerfulness, cynicism and pop transcendence…
A Hard Day’s Night was conceived as a quickie novelty item for a suddenly popular rock ‘n’ roll band from Liverpool and shot on the streets of London in 1963, guerrilla-style and in chaotic circumstances, by the American expatriate director Richard Lester. It wasn’t as if Lester and the Beatles invented the rock musical. They had clearly seen Jailhouse Rock and Elvis Presley’s other films, and were trying to do something in a similar vein that felt more British and had a bit more attitude. On the way to that destination, they invented an entirely new genre, distilled the ‘Swinging London’ moment and created a half-accidental work of surrealist genius.” — Andrew O’Hehir, Salon.com
“One of the world’s most perfect films… it still looks impossibly youthful, especially in this restored version: in all its satiny black-and-white splendor, it feels more like today than yesterday.” — Stephanie Zacharek, Village Voice