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gimme some truth -
the making of john lennon's imagine album
Filmed in the summer of 1971, Gimme Some Truth follows John Lennon into his Tittenhurst Park, Ascot, England estate studio, where the recording of his classic solo album, Imagine took place. It is a painstaking chronicle of the making of that album, providing incredible insight into the recording process and the mind of John Lennon, one of the most creative talents of the 20th century.
The process of creating Imagine is shared from its very beginning to its finished, recorded songs. We are invited to join Lennon in jam sessions, in the studio, at parties and in private moments with Yoko, and, in turn, are given a new understanding of the entertainer, the dreamer, the poet and the man who was John Lennon.
There were many others involved in the making of the Imagine album, such as producer Phil Spector and some of the best musicians of the time, including former bandmate George Harrison. An interesting aspect of the film, in regard to production of the album, is how openly willing Lennon was to accept ideas from others in fulfilling his creative vision, not only from Yoko, but from the other musicians and technicans involved as well.
In addition to recording sessions, some scenes show John and Yoko in other settings, relaxing and enjoying quiet times on their estate, away from the studio. One in particular, in which a disillusioned young man claims that Lennon had been talking to him in the Beatles song Carry That Weight, is quite unsettling considering Lennon's later demise. Lennon attempts to comfort the confused youth, explaining that when he sings, he is only talking about himself, and that if others find what he sings relates to them as well, then that's just fine. He then adds that Carry That Weight was Paul's song, anyway, and invites the stranger in for some food.
Anyone who has heard it will surely agree that the range of emotion found on Lennon's Imagine album is staggering. Lennon's philosophical side is shown in the songs Imagine and Crippled Inside, his political fury unleashes itself in I Don't Wanna Be A Soldier Mama and Gimme Some Truth, his frustrated indignation toward fellow Beatle Paul McCartney is revealed in How Do You Sleep?, his love for Yoko is expressed in Oh, Yoko! and Oh My Love, and even his own insecurities are dealt with in the songs Jealous Guy and How?.
Put simply, this film is an extremely intimate portrait of John Lennon and the making of his most intimate album. Anyone interested in Lennon, the Beatles, or the recording industry in general will find Gimme Some Truth a richly rewarding experience.
A.J.'s Rating: 4 Stars
Review Published July 6, 2000
Directed By: Andrew Solt and Yoko Ono
Starring: John Lennon, Yoko Ono
Rated: Unrated (Language / Brief Nudity)
Running Time: 63 Min.
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