It’s been a few days since Part 3 of the Beatles: Get Back, and I am still mesmerized. This has to be the most moving, enlightening, and utterly heartbreaking video-based experience ever. Of all the emotions and compelling moments – too many to choose from – I suppose the most impactful one for now has to be the culmination of the rooftop show, both in the unexpected power of their performance, and the brilliant choices on the director’s part to demonstrate it.
Watching across the hours as these songs were transformed from disinterested disarray into iconic rock status – right before our eyes and ears – well, it’s transcendent. It breaks the thesaurus. It’s hard even for this wordsy guy to find the words.
But it doesn’t end with that performance. There’s a few piercing arrows left in Peter Jackson’s quiver as the minutes of the film wind down.
The first one is the simple, unvoiced, heart-stopping subtitle that floats across the screen as the band shrugs off their instruments:
“This was the Beatles last public performance.” Let your soul stand cool and composed before that sentence. I had my fist in my mouth by then.
The second is when this beautiful film gives us the ultimate gift – we get to watch the band roll the tape in the control room and listen to Let It Be for the first time. This is Let it Be! It’s an astonishing moment in a masterful documentary and it’s just beautiful. The joy and quiet pride on their faces – it means everything.
You probably have to be a fellow Beatles nut to have this resonate so deeply, and yes there are more important problems in the world, but if you are in love with this band, you get it.
I won’t forget this experience, across three days of Thanksgiving 2021, in the middle of historic anxiety. It’s as good as any counter to that silly thing people say, “why can’t we have nice things?”
Well, actually we can.