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Here we will give you some reviews of the latest releases in commercial visual entertainment. Meaning whatever is currently in the shops on Video or DVD that is of a Beatle nature. Hopefully with the advent of DVD more material which was only available on video will be issued in this new format.

In The World Tonight
'The "Flaming Pie" Documentary
Review By Ian MacCarthy
Originally printed in Across The Universe Issue 18

 

Hot from the just screened English premiere and into my happy little hands comes "Paul McCartney In The World Tonight", a brand new TV Special to accompany his brilliant new album "Flaming Pie". It's almost a Paul solo "Anthology" and in some ways even better. At times this is a fly on the wall sort of documentary where many times you feel like you're eavesdropping into something a bit too personal (rest assured George would never ever do something like this). The Special, lasting an hour, generally looks back over the making of his new album and any other projects he's been working on during the past two or three years, which have been his "Standing Stone" symphony, an art exhibition of his own paintings, "Flaming Pie", the animated Rupert style adventure "Tropic Island Hum" and being Knighted earlier this year. Most humans would be overwhelmed with just one of those projects but not our Paul, no Siree (pun intended). The doco begins with a nice montage of Stage introductions from dozens of concerts from his past two world tours with a lovely fireworks display turning into the "Flaming Pie" logo! Paul then is seen chatting with the producer, Geoff Wonfor and assistants at his "Mill" studios in Sussex wondering about how the special should be done with Paul exclaiming jokingly to the camera "how do you make a "fooking" movie man?" (in broad pommie accent). Next Paul's in the forest doing his best "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" impression on some trees followed by Paul showing us some of his amazing paintings which he's selecting for an upcoming art exhibition this year in Germany. There's some stunning paintings shown with Paul describing what they represent but one painting needs no explanation at all, it's of John ala Sgt. Pepper! cut to some beautiful footage of Paul and Linda riding horses through the woods to the soundtrack of "Somedays" (time to pass the Kleenex). Paul now chats about how the Song "Flaming Pie" came about followed by the full promo for "The World Tonight" which has some magic footage of Paul in it. Paul then shows us some "lost" Beatles photos from their April 1969 in front of John's Rolls session. Paul then tells us a bit about "Little Willow" without mentioning who the dear friend who died was complete with footage of Paul recording the vocal. A brief bit of Paul in his 900 MPL Merc is next listening to a mix down of his Oohu Joobu track from part 2 of his CD single. Back to the studio for a bit of mucking around on his amazing array of instruments. First Paul does his "Strawberry Fields" mellotron hit then a bit of drumming, bit of bass, shows us his original 50's amp, the Abbey Road studio lights, Elvis' Stand-up bass and finishes off with some hilarious clowning around on the mellotron ala "You Know my Name". A unexpected highlight was the first screening of some footage from his next animated project "Tropic Island Hum" which looks as good as "Rupert". Nice stuff. A bit of phone chat with his publicity manager, Geoff Baker followed and then we are shown Paul and Steve Miller recording "Young Boy". Miller's American studios are stunning. We're then taken on a brief trip to Liverpool to visit Paul's original family home with some nice morphing of some childhood/teenage photos. This leads us into a look at his "Standing Stone" symphony with a brief extract aired which sounds very interesting. Following this there's a bit about his knighthood and how Linda is now officially a Lady but as Paul says "she's always been my lady" which is a lovcly intro to the stunningly poignant "Calico Skies' sung by Paul out in the woods and in the studio with Linda by his side. Very moving. The documentary ends with a lengthy segment on the recording sessions for "Beautiful Night". We get to finally see Jeff Lynne in a two second snippet playing acoustic guitar with Paul, great footage of Ringo and Paul mucking around singing a joke version of the song, Ringo drumming and singing, George Martin arranging the wonderful strings and brass with Paul doing a wonderful camp scene with him, stunning scenes of Linda and Paul doing backing vocals, Ringo, Paul and Heather all doing the "Macca Twist", Paul playing bass, guitar, piano and dozens of magic Macca moments where the old pause button gets a real workout.
The final scene has Paul coming up to a four wheel drive, being driven by John Hammel, pointing hit finger at him and saying 'I thought I told you all to f ...... p.... off' but this is all soundless but a bit of lip reading will help you decipher it. All in fun though and a neat way to end a most enjoyable trip into Paul's world.

Carol Cleveland's Review Of ' The World Tonight' Music Video

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