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Lennon NYC [Blu-ray]

71 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

LENNONYC is the story of one of the most famous and influential artists of the Twentieth Century, and how he found redemption not in the public adoration he craved as a youth, but in the quiet and simple pleasures of fatherhood. John Lennon came to New York City in 1971, seeking what every other immigrant who has washed up on its shores has sought: freedom--the freedom to be himself and not Beatle John, the freedom to love without the overwhelming scorn he and Yoko Ono had suffered in London, and, simply, the freedom to live a normal life.

LENNONYC tells this remarkable story with never-before-released in-studio recordings, concert film only recently transferred to high definition, and a trove of rarely-heard Lennon/Ono compositions. It also contains interviews with those closest to Lennon during this period in his life--friend and photographer Bob Gruen; musical collaborator and drummer, Jim Keltner; rock superstar, Elton John; and Jack Douglas, the producer of Double Fantasy. LENNONYC also contains one of the most powerful and emotionally direct interviews Yoko Ono has ever given.

This deluxe Blu-ray edition features a striking 1080p high-definition transfer of the film as well as over 20 minutes of additional interviews with Lennon s close friends and collaborators, giving us deeper insight into the artist whose life and work is as powerful and relevant today as it has ever been.

BONUS FEATURES: Over 20 minutes of additional interviews.

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: John Lennon, Yoko Ono
  • Directors: Michael Epstein
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: American Masters / PBS / A&E
  • DVD Release Date: January 11, 2011
  • Run Time: 115 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (71 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0040LAHA8
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,416 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Lennon NYC [Blu-ray]" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

92 of 92 people found the following review helpful By Z. Freeman VINE VOICE on November 17, 2010
Format: DVD
Of all the important musicians in the last century, it's pretty easy to see that John Lennon stands out for his influence on music, pop culture, and society in general. Lennon himself - his music and activism - along with their effects on the world, have been well documented in countless short and feature-length documentaries. Now American Masters - "an ongoing series of award-winning primetime specials examining the lives, works, and creative processes of our most outstanding cultural artists" - takes on the subject of John Lennon and his time in New York City. The series has featured Andy Warhol, Charlie Chaplin, and Paul Simon, among others.

This Lennon profile is special in that it's not a documentary about his entire life, but as the title suggests, focuses on his time in New York City with Yoko Ono, using numerous interviews with friends and bandmates along with never before-released in-studio recordings of Lennon. This is a documentary that assumes you already know quite a bit about Lennon and know why his time in New York is important and then goes on to both explain why this is true and give you a behind the scenes look at his life at this time. Without glossing over any of the rough patches (including the hiatus John and Yoko took and his subsequent time in Los Angeles), writer and director Michael Epstein gives audiences a true portrait of the legendary musician and activist as seen through the eyes of those around him (including Yoko Ono) and captured in in-studio recording sessions.

The film is thoroughly engaging, though not always structurally clear.
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46 of 47 people found the following review helpful By Dave Fever Tree Sigmon on November 24, 2010
Format: DVD
Here's a documentary that exclusively chronicles John's post-Imagine life which, until now, seemed to be the most glaringly overlooked era of his existence on film. There's footage from previous documentary sources, but it's necessary in tracing John's story moving from England in August 1971 to New York City. John's life during this nine-year period is addressed seriously and intelligently and is spiced with interviews from those that knew him best at that time.

This invites the audience to contemplate his struggles through his political regime. His agenda inclines him into staging concerts for humanitarian issues: the "Ten For Two Concert" in 1971 and the "One To One Concert" in 1972. And it's in this year that John and Yoko are being blacklisted by the Nixon Administration and the FBI for the subversive nature of their political views. The deportation process is well outlined here. What makes this part of his story so incredible is that his influence is so strong that he's able to rankle the sensibilities of the U.S. officials in power for the next few years. Topping all this is a pointed interview with Yoko indicating that the downward spiral in their marriage leading to their eventual separation germinated on the evening that Nixon defeated George McGovern.

The next year and a half will show John and Yoko coming to terms with their separation. Producer Jack Douglas provides fascinating tidbits of John's popcraft as he explains John's compositional and lyrical techniques during the making of "Mind Games". There's fine footage on that evening at Elton John's Madison Square Garden performance when the reconciliation between John and Yoko gets underway.
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33 of 37 people found the following review helpful By K. Harris HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on November 23, 2010
Format: DVD
As we approach the thirtieth anniversary of John Lennon's death, there is quite a bit of new material being produced. As the BBC has just released "Lennon Naked," a fictionalized bio-pic of John's tumultuous last years in England--this accomplished documentary by Michael Epstein takes up right where that piece left off. (I mention this only because I happened to watch them in conjunction, not that it has any relevance to this particular item). Initially, "LennoNYC" starts out as a real love letter to New York City--and I thought that this might be an intriguing and different approach. Within a couple of minutes, though, this documentary settles into a familiar chronological framework and begins to recount the last decade of Lennon's life. Lennon, being a public personality, obviously has tons of archival footage to utilize. Epstein has done a nice job integrating actual press footage, home movies, and modern day interviews to flesh out a complicated artist on a journey to contentment.

"LennoNYC" can essentially be broken into four segments, but of course there is some overlap:
1) Activism: The sequence of Lennon's arrival and first years in NYC is populated with much political and social activity. From the awareness rallies to the immigration department's effort to deport Lennon and Ono--there is a idealism at work to change the system. When Nixon gets reelected, Lennon's despondency leads to the next phase represented in the documentary.
2) Artistry: Lennon separates from Yoko Ono after a very public infidelity and heads to drunken debauchery as a recording artist in Los Angeles. He won't return to New York again until he is sober and ready move on to more serious matters.
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How does this compare to "The U.S. vs. John Lennon?"
Lennon NYC feels somewhat more personable; it gave me a better feel as to what Lennon was like from "the inside" as opposed to the earlier film (also very good) which I found a bit more text-book like.
Dec 4, 2010 by DKPete |  See all 2 posts
lennonyc blu-ray
This is a documentary on the years Lennon spent living in NYC.
Dec 3, 2010 by B. Dobie |  See all 2 posts
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