- Sep 17, 1935
- Mar 01, 2005
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In 1966, Paul McCartney was sitting in The Scotch of St James, a club frequented by rock musicians in London, and began talking to Peter Goldmann,a director at SvT (Sveriges Television AB). McCartney, inspired by recent films by Ingmar Bergman and Jean-Luc Godard, was extolling the fact that the next Beatles’ promotional films (which became a necessity after the group decided to abandon touring earlier in the year) ought to be in the emergent art cinema vein, breaking away from the faux cinéma direct of the group’s two Richard Lester films, A Hard Day’s Night (UK/USA, 1964) and Help! (UK/USA, 1965). Goldmann was also excited about this possibility and talked to McCartney about what kind of experimental films could be produced (even though he had, at that time, little to no experience with experimental cinema). McCartney thought that Goldmann ought to be hired to produce these works, and then told the band (perhaps apocryphally): “Let’s get a Swede!” McCartney later stated: “We thought that kind of surrealist art film was very appropriate for the times… We were great admirers of Swedish art films — Ingmar Bergman and the like — and we’d met a Swedish director called Peter Goldmann in a club and said, ‘Could you direct this?’ And here we were going backwards and now running forwards and now running in slow motion”. Goldmann was a slightly known quantity in the UK music scene, as he had worked as a producer for Sveriges Television’s Popside, which ran from 1966 to 1968, which featured UK-based bands such as Manfred Mann, The Troggs,The Who, and The Jimi Hendrix Experience. […]Scott MacKenzie
The Beatles have made music into film. Paul and I spoke a great deal about this generation, and we are both convinced that what began essentially as a music form for young people is now for everyone. I received a cable from Mr Epstein and got a plane over to England the same day. Originally, my enthusiasm for presenting English groups on TV in Sweden was fired by Richard Lester’s fine film of The Beatles in A Hard Day’s Night. I thought that was fantastic. My first meeting with the group was at Ringo’s house. He was very kind and took me for a walk in his garden with his wife Maureen, and their little white poodle, Tiger. I got my boots all muddy, and Ringo insisted on giving me another pair to replace them. That is really typical of him. I was very happy about working with The Beatles and I wanted to present their new music in an original and interesting manner on TV. I shot ‘Penny Lane’ and ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’ in colour, although viewers in the UK will only be able to see them black and white and I am concerned that some of the clever lighting effects will not come off in two tones. Nearly everything went wrong during the filming, but The Beatles were very patient. The horses we got for the ‘Penny Lane’ clip proved to be spirited, and when The Beatles got off them, they just bolted. It took us a couple of hours to recapture them from the far side of the park. Then when I arranged this weird tree piano in a field for the ‘Strawberry Fields’ clip, all the wires we had tied to the branches of the tree broke in a gust of wind, and we had to begin again.Peter Goldmann – From “The Beatles: Off the Record” by Keith Badman
How in the world could I make something funny, bizarre, clever, crazy, sophisticated enough to satisfy The Beatles? It was in the plane that I came up with the idea of the horses.Peter Goldmann – From the liner notes of The Beatles’ 1+ Video Collection, 2015
I was amazed to find that there was a ban in Britain which prevented The Beatles from miming to their record, but I cannot think that this serves any useful purpose. So I had to find settings and ideas which were sympathetic to their songs without turning them into comic actors. I found Ringo to be very well-informed on camera and photographic techniques, and Paul was a most entertaining conversationalist. The group had all informed me that I was the director and so I must direct.Peter Goldmann – From “The Beatles: Off the Record” by Keith Badman
Last updated on December 21, 2023