if we were going on a date to Jackrabbit Slim’s, i’d tell you that i’m a Beatles person as opposed to an Elvis person. so it was easy for me to agree to see Across the Universe, the film set to music from the Beatles. there’s always a danger in seeing someone else’s interpretation of music you grew up with (you couldn’t pay me to see Movin’ Out…well, maybe…), but this film didn’t tarnish the music.
the story, set in the 1960s, is really nothing we haven’t seen before. thanks to Forrest Gump, The Dreamers, and The ’60s mini series, we have a general idea of social and cultural atmosphere of the era. but Across the Universe combines the music and imagery in such a way that you don’t really mind going on the long, bumpy trip again. it’s not perfect, but definitely something to see if you consider yourself an artist of any sort. (it’s good to see different interpretations of artistic work, which is what i like about The Five Obstructions.)
to see the movie, you have to let go of expectations and just let the images wash over you. you’ll either hate it or appreciate most of it. if you loved Head (and it probably ranks in my top 20 movies i’ll force new friends to watch), then you may love Across the Universe. especially if you like cameos from famous people (what? no Nancy Sinatra?!) and psychedelia (meh). the end credits had me hoping for a digitized naked Micky Dolenz circa 1969, but i’ll have to settle for this clip of the Porpoise Song.
now if you were to ask me if i’m a Beatles person or a Monkees person, i might respond with the Rutles and run out of the restaurant.