To commemorate what would have been John Lennon’s 70th birthday there was a slew of re-releases (including updated versions of his solo records) and box sets last month. Among the barrage of remembrances to honor the former Beatles is the little-talked about documentary LennoNYC.
The doc, just released on DVD, is a fascinating look at Lennon’s post Beatle life when he left behind his native England for New York in early 70’s. Frustrated with the way he and his wife Yoko Ono were being treated by the British press and the art world, they decided to immigrate to New York, where the focus wouldn’t solely be on John the Beatle.
Through a collection of interviews with many who knew him best at that time, including Ono and his back up musicians as he started on his solo career, the film gives one of the best pictures yet of the post pop start trying to start over as a solo artist, husband and father.
Though many of these topics – like the Nixon administration’s efforts to deport the couple and John’s lost weekend after getting kicked out by Ono – have been covered in a slew of other movies and books, LennoNYC gets to the heart of theses oft-repeated stories, by talking to those who were around for it all.
Quite simply one of the best John Lennon documentaries out there.
LennonNYC/2010/1 DVD/115 mins./A&E Home Video