Imagine: John Lennon was released in 1988. It is a compilation of over 240 hours of private film and video that until the movie was made had never been viewed by the general public. The movie is the product of a long collaboration between Lennon's widow, Yoko Ono and producers David L. Wolper and Andrew Solt. They scoured the hundreds of hours of footage to create the movie and accompanying 36-song sound track.
The film is narrated by John Lennon, whose voice was pulled from many hours of audio and video footage to match the pace of the film. Imagine is an intimate portrait of Lennon, covering his younger years in Liverpool, his time with the Beatles and his solo career. The film also offers an inside look at Lennon's relationship with Yoko Ono and also features footage up to the day that assassin Mark David Chapman fatally shot John in front of the Dakota building.
The film covers everything from home movies shot by John and Yoko to rarely seen television footage from BBC interviews and studio rehearsals. Imagine takes the time to talk to Lennon's former school headmaster, William Pobjoy which offers a look into how young John was perceived by those around him who weren't associated with his fame. Though Imagine offers a wide look at Lennon's life, the main focus is around 1970-71 and the making of the album "Imagine" with classic studio footage.
The home video offers an insight as to how the Lennon's lived day to day, including a confrontation with a drifter that has decided to sleep in John's garden. Though John doesn't see eye to eye with this person, he ultimately invites the man in for breakfast. These moments which were previously kept private help to make this film an intimate look into a man that has become a legend.
You'll just have to hear this one out. It almost defies words. Historically, laying a finger on the Beatles' catalogue takes a kitten's soft touch. To many, it's a sacrilege that's not taken lightly. But in particular, tinker with John Lennon's iconic "Imagine?" For the sake of decorum, there really should be some sort of almost Papal authority devoted to toying with that one. That's almost like safety-pinning the Shroud of Turin about your shoulders to play "Superman.