August 15, 1965 Live at Shea Stadium "Ladies and Gentlemen, The BEATLES!" Wait for it. Full screen and cranked speakers for two and a half minutes will be time well spent.
At this distant remove, it’s difficult to grasp what an impact this tour, by this group, at that time, in that summer of 1965, as the war was beginning for real, had on the American nation. But it was profound and penetrating. It was one of the hinges on which the history of then and of now turned.
Evocative and iconic, this clip from nearly 50 years back remains both powerful through its haunted previousness and its reach still beyond the present, still able to signal somewhere in the future. The now aged, slightly blurred, and tinted quality of the original technicolor contributes to this impression, giving the performance a mythic sheen. One can both extrapolate and project layers and shadows explicit and implied in this short film, but somewhere chief among them has to be the awareness that one of the most profound reasons the democracies fought and won the Second World War was so that mass cultural expressions and confirmations like this, celebrating liberty and freedom, would be able to continue without end.
Looking back, that's been worth at least 55 years so far. Not bad when you think about it. Not bad at all.Posted by gerardvanderleun at January 8, 2014 2:57 PM