Slathered over the centre of the promotional poster for this VH1-style puff piece on the latter-day dalliances of John Lennon is a quote from Yoko Ono suggesting that of all the documentaries made about the music icon, ‘this is the one [he] would have loved the most’. And it’s easy to see why, as even though Leaf and Scheinfeld’s film takes time to view Lennon in a more political milieu, it’s brazenly uncritical, cleanly omitting many of his darker episodes and plainly ignoring the self-serving nature of many of his stunts. Snappily assembled and edited, the film paints with swaggeringly broad strokes, the basic thesis being Lennon = good, government = bad. It also arrives at the naggingly half-baked conclusion that, because he could express his personal politics in kooky metaphors and easy-on-the-ear sound bites, and most of the world’s media readily indulged his every whim, he became a poster boy for fey liberal idealists. Here, though, he comes across more like an ageing crusty with too much money.
Friday December 8 2006
David Leaf, John Scheinfeld