Essay A Hard Day

Submitted By staraz
Words: 839
Pages: 4

‘A Hard Day’s Night’ is a low budget movie which took more than £12 million from box office sales. Originally known as “Beatlemania!”, the films purpose was so that the ‘Beatlemaniacs’ would get to know their ‘favourite new recording artists’. The movie was nominated for two Academy Awards, made the Time Magazine list of all-time great 100 films, and was described as "the Citizen Cane of jukebox musicals" by The Village Voice. “Roger Ebert, world renowned film critic, described "A Hard Day's Night" as "one of the great life-affirming landmarks of the movies" (BeatlesBooks, n.d). Richard Lester, created his own type of film style, ‘mockumentary’ (as in mock-documentary) whilst being heavily influenced by the ‘documentary realism’ and with ‘Cinema Verite’. Richard Lester’s A Hard Days Night, seems to have ‘invented’ the music video, whilst being the first ‘rebellious youth’ film of its time. In this essay I will examine the cultural significance of Richard Lester’s A Hard Day’s Night. Examining its influence on other films and cultural phenomena, I shall argue that Lester’s film invented or popularize many filmic conventions now considered standard in the movie and television industry. This paper will also aim to cover concepts such as montage theory, jump cuts, camera shots, French New Wave, art film (especially surrealism), realism (mockumentary), and performance of the ‘actors’ (particularly accents) as they relate to a Hard Day’s Night.

Made in 1964 on a budget of only £200,000 (NME,2014), the “mock-documentary” was more than successful to say the least. The films aim was to try and get the ‘die hard’ fans to get to know their ‘personalities, idiosyncrasies and sense of humour’ (BeatllesBooks,n.d.). This is in turn led to fans being even more attached than they were before. It was a movie that had no intention of being successful. Richard Lester’s aim was to ‘point his camera in such a way that it would capture the boys’ “Liverpool ethic, their characters, all the brilliant things they did that just came naturally to them’ (O’Neill, 2014). The movie was a black and white quickie shot in six short weeks and its sole purpose was to serve as an extended advertisement for the soundtrack album. What made the movie so perfect was that it captured a ‘moment in time’.
A Hard Day’s Night documented all the major ‘touchstones of Beatlemania: the adoring hordes that pursued the band members everywhere they went; hysterical concert audiences whose screams drowned out the very songs they had come to hear; the press conferences where the Beatles bewitched and occasionally bemused the members of the fourth estate; the commercial establishment that sought to exploit the band’s appeal without really understanding it; and the disgust of the older generation that simply did not understand what the fuss about Beatles was about’ (Morton, 2011). By using the original members of the Beatles, John, Paul, Ringo (who inspired the name of the film) and George whilst they interacted with each other on how they would normal if they were not being filmed, added a whole new element to the musical film. This is because in previous films that were about music stars, the musician would be played by an actor. For example, the film about Elvis Presley. By using close up shots, especially of the fans to show how much they loved the…