Thoughts on The US vs John Lennon + VIDEO

So last night I finally was able to watch the US vs. John Lennon on DVD.  No, the film was not groundbreaking, but it was somewhat eye opening.  The film did provoke a few thoughts that I thought I’d share though.  Anyone who knows John Lennon’s story in mild detail knows most of what is in the film, however, the creators of the film told the story in a way that made it all the more relevant to today.  I was amazed at who angry the film made me.  It made me think how much times really haven’t changed that much.  The same types of things are still happening, and people are still being silenced, and war still is happening. 

The film was nicely balanced in that it showed both sides of the story.  I was amazed that the directors were able to get G. Gordon Liddy to participate, as well as some of the other FBI people.  By no means was this story a white-washed history.  It was balanced, and what I like to think was fair.

Puzzingly though, the film makers snuck a few bits that seemed a bit out of place.  Throughout the film, they kept hedging and hemming about the current state of affairs, and how things were so similar to the anti-war movement of the 1960’s/70’s.  I think I enjoyed the “Now and Then” segment in the DVD bonus features the most.  It really brought the point home that John’s peace message is never more urgent and relevant than know.  I wish that they would have featured this more in the film itself.  I know it’s a minor gripe, and it would have distracted from the historical story, but that segment was poignant. 

I also found it odd that Yoko intimated that possibly the US government may have had something to do with John’s murder.  It is an ever-so brief comment, but it is there.  I may recall that in an interview as a child, Sean Lennon also believed this theory to be true.  Believe what you will, I just found it similarly unsettling that Yoko read the parole board letter onscreen.  It was really hard to get through.  I was shocked to see her reading it.

If you haven’t seen this film yet go out and see it.  Gore Vidal’s interview segments alone make the film a really great piece.  I had listened to the soundtrack long before I had seen the film.  At first I was confused how they were using the music in the film.  I was totally blown away by the ways that they used the music itself as a voice throughout the film as well.

What are your thoughts on the film The US vs. John Lennon?  Post them in the comments and let us know.  We’d love to hear what you think.

In the spirit of the film, here are some clips that relate to John and his peace efforts that you may find interesting.

John Lennon and Yoko Ono defends their peace activities in a dialog with interviewer Gloria Emerson.

John and Yoko at the Bed-In with Al Capp

The US vs John Lennon film trailer (for those of you who haven’t seen it)

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One Response

  1. I first saw the film on the big screen when it was first released. The music really impacted me hearing it through the theatre speakers. The use of John’s music was just perfect in parts of the film. Very well done.

    Overall, I really like the movie. I thought it was really sad and I cried when he died. But I also thought it was sad that the US government actually thought that John Lennon was a threat of some kind. John Lennon…the guy that sang about peace and love. The guy that was really naive about peace and made it all so simple. I just can’t see what type of a threat John really could have been. Although he could have made an impact on the 1972 election with the younger voters, that in no way made him a treat to the country.

    It bothered me that there was no mention that John was in L.A. and seperated from Yoko from late 1973-early 1975….which was a major time of his immigration issues. Photos were shown and interviews from that time, but once again Yoko has tried to change that part of history. Not that it makes a big impact on the story or anything, but it is the truth. And if I didn’t already know about it, I would have assumed that John was in NYC that entire time.

    On my blog, I talk about my thought about it after I first saw it. Being the Lennon/Beatle nerd I am, I took photos of the marque and poster outside the theatre.

    Sara

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