“The Misplaced Weekend: A Love Story,” which opened in choose South Florida theaters final weekend, sheds unprecedented gentle on the whirlwind 18-month love affair between John Lennon and this documentary’s narrator, his assistant Might Pang, in 1973-74. Their courtship—not solely sanctioned however instigated, evidently, by Yoko Ono, whose marriage to Lennon was foundering—has lengthy been a topic of curiosity in Beatles lore, which Pang has been sport sufficient to kindle in quite a few media appearances, a memoir launched just a few years after Lennon’s assassination, and now this venture, which options never-before-seen pictures and video from her archive.
I don’t have to inform you that if you happen to’re a Lennon-phile, “The Misplaced Weekend” is important viewing. It consists of priceless pictures of considered one of Lennon’s few post-Beatles encounters with Paul McCartney, and new video of Lennon, for instance, swinging an acoustic guitar in a fancy lodge room, and practically colliding with a chandelier. As documentaries go, administrators Eve Brandstein, Richard Kaufman and Stuart Samuels invent no new wheels, delivering info effectively and splashily, with a mixture of contemporary interviews reduce along with classic clips and a few—although not practically sufficient—musical snippets. “The Misplaced Weekend” by no means drags, as a result of it’s relentlessly forward-moving; the administrators know the system for a PBS-friendly documentary, and they’re fantastic curators of the fabric.
Particularly fascinating are the backstories behind the making of John and Yoko’s early avant-garde movies, like “Fly,” during which it was Pang’s job to safe the title bugs for the shoot. (She discovered that the kitchens of New York’s Chinese language eating places to be best breeding grounds.) We be taught the origins of Lennon’s “No matter Will get You Via the Evening,” and we hearken to Lennon recount the UFO sighting he shared with Pang.
Maybe most significantly, the film demystifies Lennon’s deity standing. He might be violent with Pang and others. “I used to be a hitter,” Lennon says in considered one of its clips. He additionally had an issue with alcohol, to the purpose of inappropriate public conduct, and “The Misplaced Weekend” shies away from none of his faults.
The place the film goes astray is similar closeness to its central topic—Pang—that can be accountable for its infectious joys and insights. I used to be stunned to search out that Pang was not a producer on “The Misplaced Weekend,” as a result of it solely affords her myopic perspective, for higher or worse. This consists of recollections during which she was clearly agog on the lifetime of celeb into which she was thrust, with star-struck cameos from Mick Jagger and David Bowie that really feel a little bit extraneous.
Furthermore, Pang goes to nice lengths to current herself as something however the Different Girl, which the administrators dutifully assist of their stylistic selections. I’m past sick and uninterested in the demonization of Yoko Ono, a posh determine and efficiency artist of radical depth each earlier than and after her relationship with Lennon, and “The Misplaced Weekend” solely followers the flames of her haters. The Ono of this film is chilly, calculating, distant, Machiavellian—decide your unseemly adjective. When Pang stories on Ono and Lennon’s failing marriage, the administrators present a picture of Ono splintering aside to the sound of breaking glass, a chintzy sufficient little bit of storytelling shorthand that’s doubly worse for its subliminal bias.
I’m left, lastly, with a bitter feeling, that for all of its tenderness and fireplace, and for its filling in of puzzle items from Lennon’s post-Beatles contributions to artwork and tradition, that “The Misplaced Weekend” is foremost an arrogance venture for Might Pang. Ono’s perspective is absent by way of all of it. It might be irritating if it wasn’t so predictable.
“The Misplaced Weekend: A Love Story” is now enjoying on the Films of Delray, Films of Lake Value, and Savor Cinema in Fort Lauderdale.
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