(A&E Home Video)

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As we approach the seventieth anniversary of John Lennon’s birth (as well as the twenty year anniversary of his death) there are a number of releases which celebrate his life and music and one notable film, “LENNONYC,” which looks specifically at the Englishman’s time in New York.  The film is part of the American Masters series and is written and directed by Emmy winner Michael Epstein and it gives a very personal look at John’s New York years and the turmoil and highpoints of the last years of his life.

In August 1971, Lennon and Ono arrived in Manhattan to escape the fallout from The Beatles breakup and they grew to love the freedom that the city offered.  The documentary looks at the music Lennon produced in the ensuing years, a good deal of which was recorded at the Record Plant on West 44th Street, as well as the legal and personal issues experienced, his deportation case and John’s “lost weekend” away from Yoko foremost among them.  For Lennon fans much of the information may be well known to you but some of the moments are given a personal touch when told through friends such as: Elton John, photographer Bob Gruen, a number of the musicians that worked with him, and of course Yoko Ono.  What we see is a truly three-dimensional portrait of the former Beatle complete with all his flaws and his triumphs as he tried to open minds and make music while getting by himself.

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About Tim Needles

Tim Needles is an artist, photographer, humorist, and writer from Long Island, NY. His writing and art work has been seen in multiple exhibitions and publications around New York as well as the Photographer’s Forum, French Photo, the New York Times, and LI Pulse magazine. He is also an educator and currently teaches art and film at Smithtown, NY and as an Education Leader for Adobe. He was recently the recipient of the Robert Rauschenberg Award in Washington DC and serves as the director of Strictly Students, a non-for-profit group for media and education. His work can be seen on his website: www.timneedles.com
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