Finally got BluRay hooked up and watched Magical Mystery Tour + extras which I thought all great. Hadn’t seen it since some screening in college. It mines every avant camera technique fr 60s (looks like Mekas or Brakhage at times) back to Melies, and it’s context, really, is the pre-Beatles UK-all these goofy old stage+screen character actors and Goon-show type skits. I actually watched the extras first–especially the ‘cast and crew’ bits- which had all the clips of the various character actors in their other famous roles–which really put the whole thing in context, as to the type of folks they chose to be on the bus—they didn’t choose freaky hippies–they chose from the generation of actors they group up on, from pre-flower ‘straight’ times. I was also pleased to see that George, John and Ringo were more involved than I’d previously thought, each directing scenes etc. Removed fr the hubbub of the times (and a B&W first screening!!!!), I think it comes off very successfully. Strange! Someone needs t write a complete reassessment of this “failed” Beatles endeavor…
Further: this documentary on the film is really good, generally, although doesn’t go far enough in examining the group’s ties to the England of the 50s that they grew up on, or the avant garde dimension of the film making, which mirrored the poetics and experimentation of the American Avant-Garde Cinema, from Brakhage to Warhol, that was percolating all thru the underground at the time.
With some really great outtake footage, this is the 1 hr doc that should have come w the DVD pkg:
MAGICAL MYSTERY TOUR REVISITED