Doc ‘The Beatles and India’ Arrives on DVD and Blu-ray June 21 From MVD

The feature documentary The Beatles and India, from Silva Screen Productions and Renoir Pictures, will be released on DVD and Blu-ray June 21 from MVD Entertainment Group.

The documentary examines how Indian music and culture shaped the music of the band and explores how The Beatles served as ambassadors of the pioneering World music sound and cultural movement. In 1968, The Beatles had achieved mass fame and fortune yet were searching for deeper meaning in their lives. Under the spiritual guidance of Indian guru Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, The Beatles took a trip to Rishikesh, India, to study Transcendental Meditation. Drawing together an expansive archive of footage including contemporaneous locale shooting in India, recordings, photographs and first-hand interviews, The Beatles and India documents this East-meets-West touchstone in pop-culture history.

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Inspired by Ajoy Bose’s book Across The Universe — The Beatles In India, the documentary was produced by British Indian music entrepreneur Reynold D’Silva and directed by Bose (his directorial debut) and cultural researcher Pete Compton.

The Beatles and India has been awarded Best Film Audience Choice and Best Music at the 2021 U.K. Asian Film Festival “Tongues on Fire.” The film has also been nominated for Best Documentary at the 2022 New York Indian Film Festival.

Beatles ‘Get Back’ Documentary DVD, Blu-ray Release Delayed

The Blu-ray Disc and DVD release of The Beatles: Get Back, Peter Jackson’s acclaimed documentary on the legendary British rock band that became a streaming hit on Disney+ as a three-part miniseries, had been slated for Feb. 8 but has been delayed due to a technical issue, a Disney spokesperson announced Jan. 31. A new street date is pending.

The initial release date was slated for nine days after an hour-long concert film of the group’s iconic 1969 rooftop concert was released at select Imax theaters on Jan. 30, the 53rd anniversary of the performance atop the Apple Corps’ Savile Row headquarters.  The concert film includes a Q&A with director Jackson, who said in a statement, “I’m thrilled that the rooftop concert from The Beatles: Get Back is going to be experienced in Imax, on that huge screen. It’s The Beatles’ last concert, and it’s the absolute perfect way to see and hear it.”

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The concert, which is included in the documentary, will be digitally remastered with proprietary Imax DMR (digital remastering) technology.

The Imax event will be followed by a global theatrical run of the 60-minute concert film Feb. 11-13.

The Beatles: Get Back covers the making of the Beatles’ 1970 album Let It Be, whose working title was Get Back. Originally conceived as a feature film, The Beatles: Get Back was expanded into three episodes with a total runtime of nearly eight hours. The docuseries, which premiered on Disney+ on Nov. 25, was compiled from nearly 60 hours of unseen footage shot over 21 days, directed by Michael Lindsay-Hogg in 1969, and from more than 150 hours of unheard audio, most of which has been locked in a vault for over half a century, according to a press release.

[Originally Posted Jan. 5, 2022; Updated Jan. 31, 2022]

Disney+ to Stream Peter Jackson’s ‘The Beatles: Get Back’ Doc Over Three-Day Thanksgiving Weekend

The Walt Disney Studios June 17 announced that Disney+ will bring “The Beatles: Get Back,” a Disney+ Original documentary series directed by Lord of the Rings helmer and three-time Oscar winner Peter Jackson, exclusively to the platform over the Thanksgiving weekend.

The Jackson doc, which the director has spent the past three years restoring and editing, will be presented as three separate episodes over three days, Nov. 25, 26 and 27. It was made made with the support of surviving band members Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, in addition to John Lennon and George Harrison’s widows Yoko Ono Lennon and Olivia Harrison.

“The Beatles: Get Back” takes audiences back in time to the band’s early recording sessions during a pivotal moment in music history. The documentary showcases the camaraderie and creative genius that defined the legacy of the iconic foursome, compiled from over 60 hours of unseen footage shot in January 1969 (by Michael Lindsay-Hogg) and more than 150 hours of unheard audio, all of which has been restored.

Jackson is the only person in 50 years to have been given access to these private film archives. “The Beatles: Get Back” is the story of Lennon, McCartney, Harrison and Starr as they plan their first live show in over two years, capturing the writing and rehearsing of 14 new songs, originally intended for release on an accompanying live album. The documentary features — for the first time in its entirety — The Beatles’ last live performance as a group, the rooftop concert on London’s Savile Row, as well as other songs and classic compositions featured on the band’s final two albums, Abbey Road and Let It Be.

Bob Iger, executive chairman of The Walt Disney Company, and longtime Beatles fan, helped secure the distribution deal.

“This phenomenal collection of never-before-seen footage offers an unprecedented look at the close camaraderie, genius songwriting, and indelible impact of one of the most iconic and culturally influential bands of all time,” Iger said in a statement.

“In many respects, Michael Lindsay-Hogg’s remarkable footage captured multiple storylines,” Jackson said. “The story of friends and of individuals. It is the story of human frailties and of a divine partnership. It is a detailed account of the creative process, with the crafting of iconic songs under pressure, set amid the social climate of early 1969.”

The director cautioned that the doc is “not nostalgia,” but rather a six-hour “raw, honest, and human” exposé on the The Beatles.

“You’ll get to know [them] with an intimacy that you never thought possible,” Jackson said.

Ahead of the documentary’s Disney+ debut, Apple Corps Ltd./Callaway Arts & Entertainment will release The Beatles: Get Back book on Oct. 12. The 240-page hardcover complements the “Get Back” documentary with transcriptions of The Beatles’ recorded conversations and hundreds of exclusive, never before published photos from the three weeks of sessions. The collectible book will be published in nine international language editions, including English.

Beatles Tribute Movie ‘Yesterday’ on Home Video in September

Universal Pictures Home Entertainment will release the music-infused comedy Yesterday digitally Sept. 10, and on Blu-ray Disc, DVD and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Sept. 24, with musical performances not seen in theaters.

From Oscar-winning director Danny Boyle, Yesterday stars Himesh Patel as a struggling songwriter who suddenly becomes the only person on Earth who remembers The Beatles, and subsequently skyrockets to fame by forging a music career passing their songs off as his own, but along the way risks losing the love of his girlfriend, (Lily James), the one person who always believed in him. The cast also includes Kate McKinnon and Ed Sheeran.

The film earned $70.6 million at the domestic box office.

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Extras on the Blu-ray, DVD, digital and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray versions include an alternate ending; 12 deleted scenes; Patel performing “Yesterday,” “I Want To Hold Your Hand” and “Let it Be” at Abbey Road Studios; and feature commentary with Boyle and writer/producer Richard Curtis.

The Blu-ray, 4K Blu-ray and digital versions will also include an alternate opening, gag reel and several featurettes:

• “Ed Sheeran: From Stadium to Screen,” in which the singer reflects on acting in his first major role;

• “Agent of Comedy: Kate McKinnon,” about the fun and energy that the queen of improvisational comedy brought to the set;

• “A Talented Duo,” about the first-ever team up of Curtis and Boyle;

• “Playing for Real,” about how Patel learned how to play Beatles songs live on set;

• “Soul Mates,” a look at the film’s love story between Jack and Ellie;

• “A Conversation With Richard & Ed,” in which longtime friends Curtis and Sheeran have a funny and informal chat about the making of the film.

The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray will include HDR10+ and the bonus features in 4K resolution on the 4K disc. The 4K Blu-ray combo pack will include the film on UHD and regular Blu-ray discs and a redeemable digital copy. The Blu-ray combo pack will include Blu-ray, DVD and digital copy versions of the film.

Criterion March 2019 Slate Includes Zemeckis Debut, Bergman’s ‘Magic Flute’

The Criterion Collection’s March 2019 slate will include The Magic Flute, The Kid Brother, Detour, Wanda, I Wanna Hold Your Hand and Japón.

Director Ingmar Bergman’s 1975 screen version of Mozart’s opera The Magic Flute arrives on Blu-ray and DVD March 12 with a new 2K digital restoration, with uncompressed stereo soundtrack on the Blu-ray. Extras include a 1974 Bergman interview, a new interview with film scholar Peter Cowie, the feature-length 1975 Swedish TV documentary Tystnad! Tagning! Trollflöjten! about the making of the film, plus an essay by author Alexander Chee.

Also due March 12 on Blu-ray and DVD is a 4K digital restoration of the 1927 silent film The Kid Brother, starring comedy legend Harold Lloyd as a lawman in the Old West trying to escape the shadow of his brothers. Extras include the 1989 orchestral score by composer Carl Davis; an alternate archival organ score performed by Gaylord Carter; a 2005 commentary featuring filmmaker and Harold Lloyd archivist Richard Correll, film historian Annette D’Agostino Lloyd, and Harold Lloyd’s granddaughter Suzanne Lloyd; “Harold’s Leading Ladies,” a new conversation between author Cari Beauchamp and Suzanne Lloyd; “Anatomy of a Gag: Monkeyshoes,” a new video essay by critic and filmmaker David Cairns; behind-the-scenes stills gallery curated by Harold Lloyd archivist Richard Simonton Jr.; “Close to Home,” a new video essay on the film’s shooting locations by author John Bengtson; a Dutch television interview with Lloyd from 1962; a featurette from 2005 about Greenacres, Lloyd’s estate, hosted by Suzanne Lloyd; two restored rare early Lloyd shorts: Over the Fence (1917) and That’s Him (1918), with new Wurlitzer theater pipe organ scores and a discussion of their early film formats by archivist Dino Everett; a new tour of the Wurlitzer organ with composer Nathan Barr and organist Mark Herman; and an essay by critic Carrie Rickey.

Due March 19 with a new 4K digital restoration is the Blu-ray and DVD of 1945’s Detour, director Edgar G. Ulmer’s film noir about a down-on-his-luck nightclub pianist (Tom Neal) who finds himself with a dead body on his hands and nowhere to run — a waking nightmare that goes from bad to worse when he picks up the most vicious femme fatale in cinema history, Ann Savage’s Vera. The Blu-ray includes uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray. Extras include Edgar G. Ulmer: The Man Off-Screen, a 2004 documentary featuring interviews with filmmakers Roger Corman, Joe Dante and Wim Wenders, and actor Ann Savage; a new interview with film scholar Noah Isenberg, author of Edgar G. Ulmer: A Filmmaker at the Margins; a new program about the restoration of Detour; The film’s trailer; and an an essay by critic and poet Robert Polito.

Also due March 19 on Blu-ray and DVD is 1970’s Wanda, written, directed by and starring Barbara Loden, about a women who tries to move beyond losing her husband and children by drifiting between bars and motels, falling prey to a series of callous men. The disc includes a new 2K digital restoration by the UCLA Film & Television Archive, The Film Foundation and Gucci, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray. Extras include I Am Wanda, an hourlong documentary by Katja Raganelli featuring an interview with director Barbara Loden filmed in 1980; an audio recording of Loden speaking to students at the American Film Institute in 1971; a segment from a 1971 episode of “The Dick Cavett Show” featuring Loden; The Frontier Experience, a short educational film from 1975 about a pioneer woman’s struggle to survive, directed by and starring Loden; the film’s trailer; and an essay by film critic Amy Taubin.

Due March 26 on Blu-ray and DVD is I Wanna Hold Your Hand, the directorial debut of Robert Zemeckis. Co-written with Bob Gale, the 1978 film follows six teenagers on a mission to see the first live American appearance of the Beatles on “The Ed Sullivan Show” in 1964. The disc features a new 4K digital restoration approved by Zemeckis and Gale, with a 5.1 surround DTS-HD master audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray. Extras include a new conversation among Zemeckis, Gale and executive producer Steven Spielberg; a new interview with actors Nancy Allen and Marc McClure; audio commentary from 2004 featuring Zemeckis and Gale; The Lift (1972) and A Field of Honor (1973), two early short films by Zemeckis; the film’s trailer and TV spots; an essay by critic Scott Tobias; and more.

Also due March 26 on DVD and Blu-ray is 2002’s Japón, about a suicidal man in Mexico whose encounter with a pious elderly woman reawakens his desires. The disc includes a new 2K digital restoration supervised by director Carlos Reygadas, with a 2.0 surround DTS-HD master audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray. Extras include a new conversation between Reygadas and filmmaker Amat Escalante; a video diary shot by actor Alejandro Ferretis during the film’s production; Maxhumain, a short film directed by Reygadas in 1999; a deleted scene; the film’s trailer; and a new essay by novelist Valeria Luiselli.