MOVIE REVIEW: Experience the madness of the Fab Four on tour
DOCUMENTARIES have gone through a bit of a boom in recent years, with a range of great stories getting big screen releases for a wide audience such as The Sugar Film and Amy.
So it is with some surprise that this little gem arrives in Australia from, of all people, Ron Howard, who is widely considered one of the best filmmakers working today.
The director of The Da Vinci Code series, Apollo 13 and Rush has turned his attention to one of the most incredible periods in music and culture that changed the world.
The Beatles: Eight Days A Week is the story of The Beatles' meteoric rise to fame in the early 1960s and chronicles the story of the band's live shows from 1962 to 1966.
Howard's film explores how John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr came together to become this extraordinary phenomenon.
It delves into their inner workings - how they made decisions, created their music and built their collective career together - and focusses on the time period from the earl days of The Cavern Club in Liverpool to their last concert at Candlestick Park in San Francisco in 1966.
Put together from thousands of hours of footage taken at the time, Eight Days A Week is an insight into the hysteria, the madness, the never-ending pressure and, ultimately, how a band decided to let their music speak for them instead of playing to live audiences.
Mixed with interviews from surviving members Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, plus comments from people who toured with the band like Larry Kane, who saw them perform 46 times as the only journalist to tour with the band in the USA in 1965 and 1966, this is the definitive story of The Beatles on stage.
Over 105 minutes you are taken on a journey to a time when the world had so much bad news going on, and people were looking for some joy in their lives.
The stories of shows where the band couldn't hear the music over the screaming, the security issues and the fact that in the end it became intolerable for the Fab Four, are told at a pace that makes you feel like you are truly a part of the journey.
If you lived through the 1960s and saw it for yourself, or simply have any interest in one of the greatest bands of all time, then go out of your way to see Eight Days A Week.
This is the best documentary on The Beatles since The Beatles Anthology and tells things how they really happened from those who were there.
The music is, of course, amazing and will inspire you to race home to dig out those remastered CDs you bought many years ago.
Quite simply, Eight Days A Week will for many years be considered the definitive documentary about the live shows of the 'Fab Four' that conquered the world.
Don't miss your chance to see this on the big screen and enjoy the music, the madness and the sounds of The Beatles.
The Beatles: Eight Days A Week - The Touring Years
Stars: Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, John Lennon, George Harrison.
Director: Ron Howard
Verdict: 5/5 stars
In cinemas: From Friday September 16 for one week only