February 8, 2006

Jude Law will play Brian Epstein.

In a "quirky, hallucinogenic" biopic of the Beatles manager, who died when he was 32. Do you want to see a Brian Epstein biopic? Do you want Jude Law to play the role? And, most importantly, do you want it to be quirky and hallucinogenic?


SippicanCottage said...
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XWL said...

The Hours and Times is about the relationship between Brian and John.

In the IMDB plot description it describes it as a 'fictionalized' account of a holiday in Spain they spend together.

I recall watching a portion of this and I remember the film making Epstein's attraction towards Lennon crystal clear and suggests that they proceeded to 'consumate' those feelings of attraction.

Don't know if this new vehicle will follow the same path, I doubt it, unless this new project is part of some big new 'brokeback' trend.

Rotten Tomatoes has a few reviews here.

downtownlad said...

Epstein was gay. The nerve of Hollywood making a movie that offends American values.

Paul said...

No, no, no and no.

(Someone had to do it)

Johnny Nucleo said...

It's interesting that movies that deal with The Beatles always seem to focus on ancillary characters -- I'm thinking of that Stu Sutcliffe movie a few years back. Or if they do focus on The Beatles themselves, it's usually made-for-TV junk.

The Beatles are the greatest rock band in history. No band will ever come close. In a thousand years, of all the bands, and many are no doubt great, only The Beatles will be remembered.

Is it their sacredness that discourages big-budget, big-screen treatment of "The Story"? Or just legal issues?

chuck b. said...

I seem to remember there's already been a Brian Epstein movie. Indie flick, gay angle, like a good ten years ago..?

How about Jude Law playing Brian Wilson, quirky and hallucinogenic?

miklos rosza said...

Whatever happened to Andrew Loog Oldham? (For those who don't know, he was the early manager of the Stones, and had a large aesthetic impact on how they presented themselves, including writing pseudo-Dylan stream-of-consciousness on their album covers, insisting that they had to write their own songs rather than just cover American blues and suchlike -- which had the result of Mick Jagger and Keith Richards taking over as power nexus in the band when Brian Jones just could not compose catchy material [before this Brian was the boss, and best-known, to the point where they were sometimes billed as "Brian Jones & the Rolling Stones"] [the happy inadvertent side-effect was that Brian to assert his ego began playing all kinds of offbeat instruments and adding them to the mix as a way to assert his ego, which is why there are dulcimers, sitars ("Paint It Black"), recorders and cellos ("Ruby Tuesday") etc during what was arguably the most creative period for the Stones, when they practically lived at the studio 'cause they couldn't tour while waiting for Mick's drug charges to come to court].

Okay, I lost track of my parentheses. Back to Andrew Loog Oldham: he ordered the Stones to fire pianoplayer Ian Stewart because he was unphotogenic, and it was his brainstorm that brought Marianne Faithfull into the mix!

If he wasn't gay he should have been. (I think he was.) He was a much more interesting personality than Brian Epstein.

Ann Althouse said...

Althousefan: Interesting point. I don't think Yoko has ever been depicted in a movie. (Is it against some religion?) I have a feeling that when she's gone, we'll see some John & Yoko pictures.

I can see why in the past they've stuck to the peripheral characters: we don't have a firm picture of how they looked and acted. But lately, it's been the thing to impersonate a well-known, dead singer for a biopic, so they'll have to get to the dead Beatles soon. I think Yoko has to go before they get to John. So the question is whether anyone wants to see a George Harrison biopic.

I think maybe there was a TV John-and-Yoko movie, which Yoko controlled and which, naturally, was crapola.

SippicanCottage said...
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Palladian said...

Sippican: There's another deity standing in the way of using the Beatles' songs in films:

"In 1984, ATV's 4,000-song music catalog was put up for sale, and Michael Jackson (who had coincidentally been introduced to the benefits of song ownership by Paul McCartney himself) eventually outbid all other prospective buyers for it, including Paul McCartney, who wanted to buy back the rights to the Beatles' songs but was apparently unable or unwilling to raise enough money to pay for the thousands of other songs in the ATV catalog as well. So, for $47.5 million, Jackson acquired the publishing rights to most of the Beatles songs. (The four songs issued on the Beatles' first two singles -- "Love Me Do" b/w "P.S. I Love You" and "Please Please Me" b/w "Ask Me Why" -- were not part of the package since they were published before the formation of Northern Songs, and the rights to those songs are now controlled by McCartney's MPL Communications. ATV also did not own the rights to George Harrison songs published after Harrison's songwriting contract with Northern Songs expired in 1968, but they did hold the rights to various other Lennon-McCartney songs not recorded by the Beatles.)

Another key point here is that although Michael Jackson receives 50% of the royalties generated by Beatles songs by virtue of his ownership of the publishing rights, Paul McCartney and John Lennon (and Lennon's estate, now that he's dead) have always received their 50% songwriter's share of the royalties for all Lennon-McCartney songs. Neither ATV's nor Michael Jackson's acquisition of Northern Songs changed that, and Michael Jackson does not now receive royalties that would otherwise be going to the Beatles had he not acquired the publishing rights to their songs (except that, obviously, if Paul McCartney had managed to outbid Jackson for the publishing rights to the Beatles catalog, he and Lennon's estate would be splitting 100% of the royalties rather than 50%).

As a closing note, we should mention that Sony Corp. paid Michael Jackson $95 million in 1995 to merge ATV with Sony and form Sony/ATV Music Publishing, a 50-50 joint venture, so it's probably more correct to say that Jackson now owns half the rights to the Beatles catalog." (source)

jeff said...

Yoko not appearing in any movies is probably purely economic.

Not even the art house crowd would be interested in seeing it/her.

Now it might be interesting to see something based around the writing of "Hey Jude" when Lennon's marriage self-destructed and Paul reportedly wrote it for Julian Lennon.

SippicanCottage said...
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werkshop said...

I think it's a bit off base to speak of ancillary characters in the Beatles' story. I'm reminded of the Seabiscuit story, where part of the magic of what happened is that so many people were drawn into it in important ways. Stu, Brian, Yoko, Linda, George Martin ... these characters and many others played important roles, in the story of a group that was much more than just a music group.

But of all of them, Brian stands out. I'm sure Oldham was an important figure in his own right, but Brian was not only fascinating as a person, but in some ways was the most influential cultural figure of the sixties. It is truly incredible and strange that he has been forgotten, to the point where he has not even gotten the call to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. This is just amazing. What the hell is going on? Why has this guy, who was so important and influential, been completely forgotten?