‘Get Back’ documentary film release set for September

After more than 50 years, “Get Back” will finally be released as a documentary film in September.

When the Beatles began their work on what was intended to be “Get Back,” the complicated sessions and band member relationships led to the band throwing its hands up in the air. Eventually a “Let It Be” album and film were released, chieflyderived from the Get Back sessions. Very few were happy with the record produced by Phil Spector and the movie.


“Let it Be” hasn’t been available to the public since the early days of commercial VHS tape.


On Thursday, Walt Disney Studios and Apple announced that a Peter Jackson-created documentary called “Get Back” would be released around the world.

According to the announcement, The Walt Disney Studios officials stated they had acquired the worldwide distribution rights to “acclaimed filmmaker Peter Jackson’s previously announced Beatles documentary. The film will showcase the warmth, camaraderie and humor of the making of the legendary band’s studio album, “Let It Be,” and their final live concert as a group, the iconic rooftop performance on London’s Savile Row.

 

The Beatles: Get Back” will be released by The Walt Disney Studios in the United States and Canada on September 4, 2020, with additional details and dates for the film’s global release to follow. The announcement was made earlier today by Robert A. Iger, executive chairman, The Walt Disney Company, at Disney’s annual meeting of shareholders. 


“No band has had the kind of impact on the world that The Beatles have had, and ‘The Beatles: Get Back’ is a front-row seat to the inner workings of these genius creators at a seminal moment in music history, with spectacularly restored footage that looks like it was shot yesterday,” says Iger of the announcement. “I’m a huge fan myself, so I could not be happier that Disney is able to share Peter Jackson’s stunning documentary with global audiences in September.” 

“The Beatles: Get Back,” presented by The Walt Disney Studios in association with Apple Corps Ltd. and WingNut Films Productions Ltd., is an exciting new collaboration between The Beatles, the most influential band of all time, and three-time Oscar®-winning filmmaker Peter Jackson (“The Lord of the Rings” trilogy). Compiled from over 55 hours of unseen footage, filmed by Michael Lindsay-Hogg in 1969, and 140 hours of mostly unheard audio recordings from the “Let It Be” album sessions, “The Beatles: Get Back” is directed by Jackson and produced by Jackson, Clare Olssen (“They Shall Not Grow Old”) and Jonathan Clyde, with Ken Kamins and Apple Corps’ Jeff Jones serving as executive producers. 
 
The footage has been restored by Park Road Post Production of Wellington, New Zealand, and is being edited by Jabez Olssen, who collaborated with Jackson on 2018’s “They Shall Not Grow Old,” the groundbreaking film which featured restored and colorized World War I archival footage. The music in the film will be mixed by Giles Martin and Sam Okell at Abbey Road Studios in London. With this pristine restoration behind it, “The Beatles: Get Back” will create a vivid, joyful and immersive experience for audiences.   

Peter Jackson says, “Working on this project has been a joyous discovery. I’ve been privileged to be a fly on the wall while the greatest band of all time works, plays and creates masterpieces. I’m thrilled that Disney have stepped up as our distributor. There’s no one better to have our movie seen by the greatest number of people.”
 
Paul McCartney says, “I am really happy that Peter has delved into our archives to make a film that shows the truth about The Beatles recording together. The friendship and love between us comes over and reminds me of what a crazily beautiful time we had.”

Ringo Starr says, “I’m really looking forward to this film. Peter is great and it was so cool looking at all this footage. There was hours and hours of us just laughing and playing music, not at all like the version that came out. There was a lot of joy and I think Peter will show that. I think this version will be a lot more peace and loving, like we really were.”

“The Beatles: Get Back” is also being made with the enthusiastic support of Yoko Ono Lennon and Olivia Harrison.

Although the original “Let It Be” film, directed by Michael Lindsay-Hogg, and the accompanying album were filmed and recorded in January 1969, they were not released until May 1970, three weeks after The Beatles had officially broken up. The response to the film at the time by audiences and critics alike was strongly associated with that announcement. During the 15-month gap between the filming of “Let It Be” and its launch, The Beatles recorded and released their final studio album, “Abbey Road,” which came out in September 1969.

Shot on 16mm and blown up to 35mm, the 80-minute “Let It Be” movie was built around the three weeks of filming, including an edited version of the rooftop concert. The GRAMMY-winning “Let It Be” album topped the charts in the U.S. and the U.K.

The new documentary brings to light much more of the band’s intimate recording sessions for “Let It Be” and their entire 42-minute performance on the rooftop of Apple’s Savile Row London office. While there is no shortage of material of The Beatles’ extensive touring earlier in their careers, “The Beatles: Get Back” features the only notable footage of the band at work in the studio, capturing John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr as they create their now-classic songs from scratch, laughing, bantering and playing to the camera. 

Shot on January 30, 1969, The Beatles’ surprise rooftop concert marked the band’s first live performance in over two years and their final live set together. The footage captures interactions between the band members, reactions from fans and employees from nearby businesses, and comical attempts to stop the concert by two young London policemen responding to noise complaints. 

A fully restored version of the original “Let It Be” film will be made available at a later date.

 

MLB acts to suspend Astros manager, g.m.

Kudos to Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred for the suspension of Astros manager A.J. Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow for their involvement in electronic sign stealing during the team’s 2017 World Series winning season.

Those weren’t the only penalty for the team and the manager and the g.m. The team was fined $5 million and lost its 2020 and 2021 first and second round draft choices.

The Astros fired Hinch and Luhnow.

Here’s a link to the MLB statement:

https://img.mlbstatic.com/mlb-images/image/upload/mlb/cglrhmlrwwbkacty27l7.pdf

Photos by Ronald Hawkins.

AFI names top 2019 films, tv shows

The American Film Institute has announced its selections for top American made films and television shows of 2019.

Here are the lists:

Films of the Year

1917

THE FAREWELL

THE IRISHMAN

JOJO RABBIT

JOKER

KNIVES OUT

LITTLE WOMEN

MARRIAGE STORY

ONCE UPON A TIME…IN HOLLYWOOD

RICHARD JEWELL

AFI TELEVISION PROGRAMS OF THE YEAR

CHERNOBYL

THE CROWN

FOSSE/VERDON

GAME OF THRONES

POSE

SUCCESSION

UNBELIEVABLE

VEEP

WATCHMEN

WHEN THEY SEE US

Honorees will gather on January 3, 2020, for recognition at the annual AFI Awards private luncheon in Los Angeles.

EAS shares startling report on west Antarctica glacier

From the EAS comes this scary report based on a paper published in Geophysical Research Letters:

By combining 25 years of ESA satellite data, scientists have discovered that warming ocean waters have caused the ice to thin so rapidly that 24 percent of the glacier ice in West Antarctica is now affected.

A paper published in Geophysical Research Letters describes how the UK Centre for Polar Observation and Modelling (CPOM) used over 800 million measurements of Antarctic ice sheet height recorded by radar altimeter instruments on ESA’s ERS-1, ERS-2, Envisat and CryoSat satellite missions between 1992 and 2017.

The study also used simulations of snowfall over the same period produced by the RACMO regional climate model. Together, these measurements allow changes in ice-sheet height to be separated into those caused by meteorological events, which affect snow, and those caused by longer-term changes in climate, which affect ice.

The ice sheet has thinned by up to 122 metres in places, with the most rapid changes occurring in West Antarctica where ocean melting has triggered glacier imbalance. CPOM Director, Andy Shepherd, explained, “Parts of Antarctica have thinned by extraordinary amounts. So we set out to show how much was down to changes in climate and how much was instead due to weather.”

CryoSat

To do this, the team compared measurements of surface-height change with the simulated changes in snowfall. Where the signal was greater they attributed its origin to glacier imbalance.

They found that fluctuations in snowfall tend to drive small changes in height over large areas for a few years at a time, whereas the most pronounced changes in ice thickness coincide with signals of glacier imbalance that have persisted for decades.

Prof. Shepherd added, “Knowing how much snow has fallen has really helped us to isolate the glacier imbalance within the satellite record. We can see clearly now that a wave of thinning has spread rapidly across some of Antarctica’s most vulnerable glaciers, and their losses are driving up sea levelsaround the planet.

“After 25 years, the pattern of glacier thinning has spread across 24% of West Antarctica, and its largest ice streams – the Pine Island and Thwaites Glaciers – are now losing ice five times faster than they were in the 1990s.

“Altogether, ice losses from East and West Antarctica have added 4.6 mm of water to global sea level since 1992.”

ESA’s Marcus Engdahl, noted, “This is a fantastic demonstration of how satellite missions can help us to understand how our planet is changing. The polar regions are hostile environments and are extremely difficult to access from the ground. Because of this, the view from space is an essential tool for tracking the effects of climate change.”

Scientific results such as this are key to understanding how our planet works and how natural processes are being affected by climate change – and ice is a hot topic at ESA’s Living Planet Symposium, which is currently in full swing in Milan. This study demonstrates that the changing climate is causing real changes in the far reaches of the Antarctic.

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Swiatek-Hawkins picks contest continues

For nearly 40 years, writer Jeff Swiatek and Ronald Hawkins have shared competing picks regarding the upcoming Major League Baseball season. The person with the most correct picks is the beneficiary of a dinner from his opponent.

An opening day in Cincinnati. Photo by Ronald Hawkins.

This tradition began when the writers were working at a daily newspaper in Carlisle, Pa. Hawkins has moved many times and Swiatek a few times with both somehow ending up in Indiana. Despite the moves, the competition has continued unabated.

Hawkins has completed his 2019 predictions and has agreed to post them here. He confesses to being a lifelong Cincinnati Reds fan, but isn’t blinded to the challenges the team faces in the 150 anniversary of Cincinnati claiming the first all-professional team.

The predictions:

2019 Major League Baseball Predictions

Division/Pennant/world series winners

National League

East: Philadelphia Phillies

Central: Milwaukee Brewers

West: Los Angeles Dodgers

Wild Card: St. Louis Cardinals

Wild Card: Atlanta Braves

Playoffs

National League

Braves over Cardinals

Dodgers over Braves

Phillies over Brewers

Phillies over Dodgers

American League

East: New York Yankees

Central: Cleveland Indians

West: Houston Astros

Wild Card: Boston Red Sox

Wild Card: Tampa Bay Rays

Playoffs

Red Sox over Rays

Houston over Red Sox

Yankees over Cleveland

Houston over Yankees

World Series

Phillies over Astros

Individual Honors

National League

Average: Jesse Winker

Home Runs: Christian Yelich

Wins: Max Scherzer

American League

Average: Mookie Betts

Home Runs: Aaron Judge

Wins: Corey Kluber

ODDITIES

Reds win 87 games and barely miss the playoffs

Bryce Harper and Manny Machado each miss 26 games

Machado benched for failing to hustle.

Christian Yelich hits for the cycle again, the third time in two years, but this time it isn’t against the Reds.

Winker has a six hit game.

Harper hits six homers over two games.

Ten games are showed out in March and the first week of April

Reds beat the Pirates in a snowball fight

Former Trump attorney calls president dishonest, conman

Former Donald Trump attorney Michael Cohen is expected to call the 45th U.S. president a cheat, conman, and racist in a prepared statement scheduled to be delivered to Congress later today, Feb. 27, 2019.

Photo by Ronald Hawkins

CNN broke the story just after midnight following the news network’s acquisition of an advance copy of his opening statement.

Cohen has been sentenced to three years in federal prison, followed by three years of supervised release. During a sentencing hearing in federal court in Manhattan,  Cohen claimed he acted out of “blind loyalty” to President Trump. The judge declared he will serve time for a “smorgasbord” of fraudulent crimes.

In the statement tentatively expected to be delivered to Congress today, Cohen states that Trump was aware of longtime adviser Roger Stone’s efforts to reach out to WikiLeaks in advance of its release of damaging information about Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, according to a copy of his public testimony submitted to Congress.

In the 20-page statement provided Tuesday night to lawmakers, Cohen states that Trump made racist statements about African-Americans, that Trump participated during his presidency in an illegal hush-money scheme to keep an alleged extramarital affairs quiet, Trump faked a medical condition to get out of serving in the Vietnam War and that Trump was involved in an aggressive pursuit of a major project in Russia in 2016.

Cohen is expected to provide new details, according to CNN, saying Trump was engaged in an aggressive pursuit of a major project in Russia in 2016, alleging the President’s attorneys edited Cohen’s 2017 testimony when he lied to Congress, downplaying the efforts to build a Trump Tower in Moscow.

Cohen states although Trump never directly ordered him to lie to Congress he believed he was carrying out an order given his interactions with Trump, who was making public statements about not having any business dealings with Russia.

Cohen will allege that, in 2016, he witnessed Trump taking a phone call from Stone, who was on speakerphone.

“Mr. Stone told Mr. Trump that he had just gotten off the phone with Julian Assange and that Mr. Assange told Mr. Stone that, within a couple of days, there would be a massive dump of emails that would damage Hillary Clinton’s campaign,” Cohen will say, according to his prepared testimony.

Trump responded, according to Cohen: “Wouldn’t that be great.”

Cohen also said the President’s personal lawyers “reviewed and edited” his 2017 statements when Cohen lied to Congress about the Trump Organization’s pursuit of a massive project in Moscow.

Stone — who has been indicted on charges of making false statements, witness tampering and obstructing justice — has denied discussing the matter with Trump or having any such interactions with WikiLeaks.

Cohen’s opening statement also suggests that Trump may have been aware in advance of a 2016 meeting set up by Donald Trump Jr. and Russians at Trump Tower — something that Trump and his eldest son have long denied.

Cohen reportedly will tell Congress that he witnessed Trump Jr., in June 2016, tell his father: “The meeting is all set.”

Cohen states not knowing for sure that Trump’s son’s comments were in reference to the meeting with Russians.

“I also knew that nothing went on in Trump world, especially the campaign, without Mr. Trump’s knowledge and approval,” according to the statement issued in advance.

“So I concluded that Don Jr. was referring to that June 2016 Trump Tower meeting about dirt on Hillary.”

According to a copy of the opening statement he prepared to deliver to the House Oversight Committee Wednesday, Cohen says Trump lied repeatedly about a number of matters — and made a host of racist statements.

“To be clear, Mr. Trump knew of and directed the Trump Tower negotiations throughout the campaign and lied about it,” Cohen is expected to tell the committee. “He lied about it because he never expected to win the election.

“He also lied about it because he stood to make hundreds of millions of dollars on the Moscow real estate project.”

For the complete advance copy of Cohen’s statement, go to https://www.cnn.com/2019/02/27/politics/cohen-testimony-read/index.html</a></div>

And the Oscar winners are:

Best Picture: Green Book

A scene from “Green Book,” the 2018 Best Picture winner. Actor Mershala Ali, right, won the Oscar for Best Supporting actor.

Outstanding Achievement in Directing: Alfonso Curon, “Roma”

Best Actress: Olivia Colman, “The Favourite.”

Oscar winner Olivia Colman in “The Favourite.”

Best Actor: Rami Malek, Bohemian Rhapsody

Best Supporting Actress: Regina King, “If Beale Street Could Talk.”

Best Supporting Actor: Mersela Ali, Green Book.

Best Foreign Language Film: “Roma.”

Best Original Screenplay: “Green Book.”

Best Adapted Screenplay: “Blackkksman,” Spike Lee, et al.

Spike Lee.

Best Original Score: “Black Panther.”

“Black Panther” won the Oscar for Best Original Score

Best Original Song: by Lady Gaga, “A Star Is Born.”

Best Animated Feature: “Spider-man, Into the Spider Verse.”

Best Documentary: “Free Solo.

This is a partial list of the awards announced at the Feb. 24, 2019, Academy Awards ceremonies.