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PHOEBE: So in this clip, Paul mentions Ingmar Bergman’s Seventh Seal, and Jean Luc Godard’s One Plus One. He talks about his love of films, especially experimental films, and basically being a student of film in the mid 60s.

We also know from his 1997 biography, Many Years From Now, that in the mid 60s, particularly in that ‘66 through ‘68 era, he screened a few indie films at his house in London. I know that he had a screening of Scorpio Rising by Kenneth Anger, and another of Andy Warhol’s, Empire. And in the Michael Braun book, Love Me Do from 1964, Paul mentions the Trial (Orson Welles movie), and 8 ½.

So we’ve a pretty good sense of Paul’s movie background in 1967 going into the making of Magical Mystery Tour. He’s mentioned Bergman, Godard, Fellini, Truffaut, Orson Welles, Andy Warhol and also Dick Lester and British comedy, such as Morecambe and Wise. And Nat Jackley (the comedian that John loved who got into the movie).

And we know that Paul been making his own short films for a while by the time that he conceived of the Magical Mystery Tour project. So he’s made short films and he knew enough basic filmmaking, like he knew how to rewind the film and expose it again. He liked making double exposures and fun stuff that was becoming more popular in the 60s; artsy little tricks.

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KRISTEN: Well, you know, what I think is interesting about Paul’s influences that you mentioned, like these great European art cinema directors like Bergman and Fellini…and then you’ve got the new wave directors, the experimental. And even the American director that you mentioned, Orson Welles isn’t, like, run of the mill American director, like he’s the artsy one, right?  

But what I think is really interesting is that in the 60s, that was a pretty standard mix for people who are really into film culture, like new wave and European art cinema directors. I’m surprised he doesn’t throw Kurosawa in there, because that’s kind of in the mix, right? Or Buñuel. But that group of directors, art cinema directors from the 1950s and then the new wave, specifically the French New Wave directors from the 50s and 60s, were so a part of film culture at the time, in the 1960s. Like all of the 20-somethings, you know, the people Paul’s age, were definitely really getting into film culture at this time. 

You had cine clubs, movie clubs popping up all over the world. They were really, really important in France, but in England too, they would have been really popular. And definitely like, college campuses in the US, college-age students would get together and they would watch the latest -or not even the latest, but they would watch The Seventh Seal or they would watch, Rashomon or whatever, and then they would discuss it. And it would be, sort of this thing where, like in France, these cine clubs were supported by the government. I mean, it was a sanctioned thing.

PHOEBE: They still are (in France)!

KRISTEN: Right, right. And so, you know, it was really, really popular. 

And then experimental films were thrown into the mix too. And so you had these kind of pop-up theaters or movie clubs, independent theaters and college campuses. You had this real film culture in the post war era, and really coalescing in the 1960s with college age people and Paul – even though he’s not a college student – he’s in that kind of spot, that sweet spot, age-wise.

So it absolutely makes sense that he’s doing this and it’s not even, like, super unique or unusual. This is something that a lot of (especially 20-something) artists and intellectuals were absolutely doing.

And you know the fact that he’s showing Kenneth Anger and Andy Warhol, like he’s definitely showing the cutting edge sort of pop culture, experimental filmmakers, which is pretty cool. You know, he’s not showing like, Stan Brakhage or Maya Deren- like, maybe he is? But he’s not showing the ones that are maybe a little bit more challenging. He’s showing the ones that are a little bit more accessible, which is great, though! Like those are, they’re fantastic, like Kenneth Anger is amazing.

I think that he’s just so a part of that moment, that late-60s sort of film culture, experimental film culture moment. And it’s just starting to seep into Hollywood at this time. And this sort of counterculture interest in experimental and new wave and art house filmmaking is about to completely change Hollywood and give us new Hollywood. And so, you know, he’s right on track at this time, as far as youth film culture, which I think is really cool.

Full episode here

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Paul McCartney’s 21st Birthday Party
June 18, 1963

1. Jim McCartney and friends
2. Jim McCartney, cousin Di and Hank Marvin
3. Jim McCartney, Aunty Jin and the Shadows
4. Celia Mortimer (Mike McCartney’s gf), Ringo’s stepdad and mum (Harry and Elsie Graves), George Harrison’s dad Harry
5. Paul and Jane Asher
6. Cynthia and John Lennon, Bob Wooler

(thanks to the gilly for pics)

anotherkindofmindpod:

On this day in 1957, Paul impressed John with his amazing guitar skills and rock star charisma at the Woolton Garden Fete!

As John would reflect many years later, “That was the day, the day that I met Paul, that it started moving.”

Painting by artist Eric Cash

Happy Lennon/McCartney Meetup Day! 🙂❤️

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Thru the AKOM Lens: Magical Mystery Tour

Learn all about the much-maligned Magical Mystery Tour with Phoebe and Kristen.  They discuss the film’s influences, broader cinematic context and lasting cultural impact.

You won’t want to miss this in-depth look into an important but much over-looked milestone in the Beatles oeuvre! (x)

Another Kind of Mind is available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Podbean, and most other podcast platforms.

“Feminizing” Paul

There is a difference between A) calling a man pretty or admiring his graceful body language or his feminine features (although I don’t personally think eyelashes and lips need to constantly be gender-labeled as “masculine” or “feminine” – they can just be “long” or “lush” etc) and B) mocking a man for having what you perceive to be “feminine” traits (even if you think your jokes are not mean-spirited because Hey! feminine guys are awesome!) and especially C) making insinuations about a person’s sexuality based on external mannerisms or physical features.  The last example is homophobic behavior.  Even if you love gay people or fetishize them or personally identify as LGBTQ, it doesn’t matter! It’s still exactly the same thing homophobes do.

Paul McCartney is not a sassy queen. If he was, and he self-identified that way, it would be totally cool to call him that and celebrate his fabulousness!  But as far as we know, Paul identifies as a straight man. Maybe not a super “macho” one- he wore ladies’ clothing in the 70s and sometimes he likes to playfully prance and twirl and stuff like that, which I agree is endearing and cute! But it’s questionable, at the very least, to make joke after joke about how OMG!feminine! the guy is.

Of course you can admire his physicality (option A)- that’s what fans do with celebrities.  But please do so without taking a different sexuality and applying it to this person in a mocking way (as if everyone is in on the joke except Paul, who doesn’t realize what a flamboyant queen he is, LOL).

I think it’s fine to speculate on an artist’s sexuality, too, so long as it’s based on their own words or even their art. But not when it’s second-guessing someone’s own identity based on your own judgments about their posture or bone structure (or worse yet, their interest in theater or having gay friends- like do you realize how homophobic that is?).

Can you imagine a group of men coming on Tumblr and making post after post about a straight female celebrity, talking constantly about how butch she is and how hard she would fuck basically every woman she’s ever been photographed with? Lord knows there’s nothing bad about being butch or W/W but it would be a WEIRD thing to keep harping on about a straight woman!  Wishful thinking and fangirling/fanboying is fine.  “I wish she would top me” is different than calling a straight woman “such a power dyke.” The first is just a fun wish, the second is… weird and inaccurate and it just strikes me as maybe only half-way thought-through.

I don’t think I have all the answers or claim that we’re perfect either. In our episode on Yoko we made a joke about her “big dick” – which we meant as a compliment, but that could be seen as problematic too. And maybe it was? The whole concept of a dick as being where power is stored is pretty lame, even if we all enjoyed making “big dick energy” memes and jokes for a year or so. 

And yeah, Paul’s so-called “femininity” (which I put in skeptical quotation marks because again, we’re talking about gender-labeling both physical traits AND personality traits that DO NOT INHERENTLY BELONG TO ANY SEX) has been historically used to undermine everything from his intelligence to his artistic depth to his credibility (”diva” anyone?).  It’s not mine or anyone’s job to police and gatekeeper and tell people how they’re supposed to talk, I just urge us all to be a bit more thoughtful with how we use words and how we appropriate gay culture so voraciously.

Also, please stop this tiresome straw-man argument of “there’s nothing wrong with being femme!” Of course there isn’t.  There’s nothing wrong with being anything!

But everyone on this site knows better than to purposely mis-label a person’s gender or sexuality. Everyone also knows better than to characterize a person’s sexuality or gender identity in a way that would upset that person or make them uncomfortable. If someone prefers “Black” to “African American,” call them Black. If they prefer “Brown” to “Black,” call them Brown, etc. It’s not your place to make a judgment call about these terms, it’s for people to choose for themselves and it’s our place to respect them.

I know I’ll probably get pushback that “this is just fandom” and “it’s not that serious.” And to an extent I agree because none of the Beatles would appreciate being called assholes or hearing our shitty opinions about their songs either and we all feel free to criticize them for all kinds of stuff that is essentially none of our business. I just think we need to pump the brakes from time to time when it comes to throwing labels on people.  

And yes, perhaps I’m sensitive about this topic because I grew up in a much, much more homophobic era than our current one and I’ve definitely got scars from it. But I also believe that it’s OK to encourage everyone to think about this stuff and talk openly about it without attacking each other or getting overly defensive.

-Phoebe

AKOM: Magical Mystery Tour

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Thru the AKOM Lens: Magical Mystery Tour

CONTENTS

  • Influences and Context 2:23
  • Critical Reception. Does MMT warrant Re-evaluation? 18:50
  • Stanley Kubrick – echoes of MMT 44:30
  • Weekend – a slice of 1967 art cinema 1:09:21
  • Discussion of Magical Mystery Tour 1:25:26

    TW: brief mention of a (fictional) sexual assault on a minor in the Kubrick section

SOURCES

Juli Kearn’s analysis of A Clockwork Orange:

http://idyllopuspress.com/idyllopus/film/co_three.htm#magical

Rob Ager’s analysis of the Bear in the Shining: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dW2GrG7Zk0U

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FILMOGRAPHY (movies referenced in the podcast)

  1. Magical Mystery Tour (1967) The Beatles
  2. Strawberry Fields Forever (1967) Peter Goldmann
  3. The Seventh Seal (1957) Ingmar Bergman
  4. One Plus One (1969) Jean-Luc Godard
  5. The Trial (1960) Orson Welles
  6. 8 ½ (1060) Federico Fellini
  7. Scorpio Rising (1960) Kenneth Anger
  8. Empire (1966) Andy Warhol
  9. Running, Jumping Standing Still (1959) Dick Lester
  10. Weekend (1967) Jean-Luc Godard
  11. Daisies (1966) Věra Chytilová.
  12. The Shining (1980) Stanley Kubrick
  13. A Clockwork Orange (1971) Stanley Kubrick
  14. 2001 (1969) Stanley Kubrick
  15. Barry Lyndon (1975) Stanley Kubrick
  16. Dr. Strangelove (1964) Stanley Kubrick
  17. The Astronomer’s Dream (1898) Georges Méliès
  18. Breathless (1960) Jean-Luc Godard
  19. Tom Jones (1963) Tony Richardson
  20. The Cook, the Thief, His Wife and Her Lover (1989) Peter Greenaway
  21. A Taste of Honey (1961) Tony Richardson

(Photos, L to R: A Clockwork Orange, Magical Mystery Tour, The Shining. Strawberry Fields Forever, Weekend, Daisies)

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Another Kind of Mind is available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Podbean, and most other podcast platforms.

A Tumblr User Asked:

Have any of you watched the Understanding Lennon/Mccartney series on YouTube? If yes, what are your thoughts? If not, I would absolutely recommend it

Hi there!

We completely agree that Understanding Lennon/McCartney is an excellent series – all of us at AKOM have seen it and thoroughly enjoy it. We highly recommend this series and all of Breathless345’s work to our listeners!

All the best,

Thalia

 

Female Protagonists in McCartney Songs

What can we learn about Paul McCartney from the female protagonists in his songbook? Phoebe and Thalia discuss several McCartney compositions featuring prominent female characters and identify their central themes.

Sources:

Sources:
“Many Years From Now” by Barry Miles (1997)
Interview w/ Allison Anders, Bomb Magazine (1997)
Paul McCartney interview w/ Jonathan Wingate Record Collector (2008)
“Chaos and Creation at Abbey Road” (2006)
“Still I Rise” by Maya Angelou (1978)
“The Oprah Winfrey Show” (1984)
Interview w/ Paul McCartney for Billboard Magazine (2001)
Paul McCartney Interview w/ Susan Goldberg for National Geographic (2017)

PLAYLIST:
She’s Leaving Home (1967)
Jet (1973)
Blackbird (1968)
Jenny Wren (2005)
Working Women at the Top (1991)
It’s Not On (1982)
Temporary Secretary (1980)
Another Day (1971)
Penny Lane (1967)
Eleanor Rigby (1966)
Eleanor’s Dream (1984)
Treat Her Gently/Lonely Old People (1975)
English Tea (2005)
Let it Be (1970)
Imprisonment, Ocean’s Kingdom (2011)
Daytime Nighttime Suffering (1979)
Mama’s Little Girl (1973)
The World You’re Coming Into (1991)
Lady Madonna (1968)
For No One (1966)

Extended Spotify Playlist: Click Here

On Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Podbean, and most other podcast platforms.

reflectismo:

So you know how there’s a few photos of John with pictures of the Beatles near him when he’s working?

A few examples:

Recently, I was listening to John and Yoko’s interview with Dave Sholin for RKO (taped on December 8, 1980), and I came across a quote from him that I thought was quite interesting:

JOHN: We had his [Sean’s] picture pinned up in the studio, because I didn’t want to lose contact with him, with what I got. I was scared, myself, that moving back into the business, and one tends to hone in on yourself and the sound, and the record, and how you’re doin’ it. We had his picture up there all the time, in between the speakers, so whenever you list… checkin’ the stereo, he was lookin’ at me all the time.

I always thought the pictures were simply a sweet, small, passing gesture John did. But after listening to the audio and reading the quote, the significance of that action is just much more meaningful. “I didn’t want to lose contact.” He missed his family when they weren’t there with him. Just like Sean was his family, The Beatles were as well. He didn’t want to feel alone and the pictures served to remind him that they were very much a part of him and his creative process. They were something constant in his life. He would know this every time he looked up at those photos and saw those familiar faces.

Jealous Guy: Lennon/McCartney and Competitive Admiration

An essay that explores the inspiration, background, and meaning of John Lennon’s song “Jealous Guy” and its connection to Paul McCartney.

Where to Listen