A Hard Day’s Night

Movie Information

In Brief: So, I was trying to show Tim Burton's Ed Wood  to commemorate both the one-year anniversary of Ken Hanke's death and the recent passing of Martin Landau, since it was not only Ken's favorite Burton movie (and bear in mind, Ken wrote a book on the guy) but also Landau's only Oscar win — but anyone who read this week's print paper knows that plan obviously didn't work out. Disney owns the rights to Wood and they're notoriously tight fisted with their screening privileges, Landau's demise notwithstanding — the term "hornet's nest" was mentioned — so I had to revert back to Plan A: Richard Lester's breakthrough feature, and the film that helped put The Beatles on the map, 1964's A Hard Day's Night. Before anyone asks, I ran through all the possible considerations of Ken's favorites — I thought about Rouben Mamoulian's Love Me Tonight, or some of his preferred Ken Russell films — but ultimately, I felt that something more uplifting was in order. A Hard Day's Night is certainly that, a film that can be called many things, but above all, one that is unquestionably fun. I'm not the world's greatest Beatles fan, and even I can't help but like this film — it's the Fab Four before they were (completely) jaded, pissed off and drugged out, showing exactly why they were such a cultural phenomenon. And Lester proved to be the perfect accompaniment to that formula, matching their quasi-anarchic sensibilities with a cinematic style that defied both documentary and narrative form. Let's face it: The Beatles transformed American society writ large, and A Hard Day's Night was a major part of that process. That's a difficult impact to overlook. Come celebrate Ken Hanke with a film he deeply loved, and help the Asheville Film Society pay tribute to the man who made our existence possible. I can't say it was his favorite of all time, and I can no longer call him to ask if he would approve, but my gut tells me the answer would have been "yes." At the very least, it's a film that warrants being screened with an audience. I sincerely hope to see you all there, and for anyone who's curious, here's a link to Ken's last review on the subject.
Rated: NR

The Asheville Film Society is showing A Hard Day’s Night on Tuesday, July 25 at 7:30 p.m. at The Grail Moviehouse as part of the Budget Big Screen series. Admission is $6 for AFS members and $8 for the general public.  movie critic Scott Douglas will introduce the film. 


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