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Monday, 10 December 2007

Josh Raskin "I Met the Walrus" - John Lennon








Josh Raskin's 2007 I Met the Walrus is an animated account of an interview 14 year old Jerry Levitan obtained after sneaking into John Lennon's Toronto hotel room 38 years ago. Circa 1970 reel to reel tapes are not the best bet for recording sounds but Jerry's scoop has been put to good use by director Josh Raskin. The link is to the opening section of the 6 minute film. In the words of the website, "Raskin marries traditional pen sketches by James Braithwaite with digital illustration by Alex Kurina". Now judgement of the movie is tempered by a view of Lennon as the most brilliant of The Beatles and the soundtrack, however raw, is the best thing about this short film. Speaking as someone who was a student in Liverpool in that era, eventually starting my teaching career in the city, there's a warmth and nostalgia that strikes a chord. Lennon, principled and outspoken, provided the fledgling reporter with good copy: "They like war because it keeps them fat and happy and I'm anti-war so they're trying to keep me out. But I'll get in." The animation is slickly done with a certain echo of the times and sufficient wit in its treatment to do Lennon justice. But it hinges on that fortuitous interview with a great man. I remember sitting in a Yorkshire staffroom on the day we heard of his murder and listening to some senior colleagues rubbish what he was and what he stood for. I declared my interest and went off to teach. Lennon was ever the enemy of the establishment. Thanks to the very lively Jo Overfield who told me about the movie - "....it's fantastic." I enjoyed it too.

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