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Gimme some truth - the making of John Jennon's Imagine album  

Directed By: Andrew Solt and Yoko Ono Starring: John Lennon, Yoko Ono Rated: Unrated (Language / Brief Nudity) Running Time: 63 Min.

Shot in the summer of 1971, this film follows John Lennon into the studio at his Tittenhurst Park, Ascot, England estate, where the recording of his classic album, "Imagine" took place. That process is painstakingly chronicled, and gives an incredible amount of insight into the mind of one of the most creative talents of the 20th century.

In documentary fashion, the process of songwriting and recording is shown from early inception to the final, recorded songs. We are invited to join Lennon in jam sessions, in the studio, at parties, even in private moments with Yoko, and are given a new understanding of the entertainer, the dreamer, the poet, and the man that was John Lennon.

There were many others involved in the making of the "Imagine" album, such as producer Phil Spector, and many of the best musicians of the time, including bandmate George Harrison. One of the most interesting aspects of this film, in respects to production of the album, was how willing Lennon was to accept the ideas of others in fulfilling his creative vision, not just from Yoko, but from the other musicians and technicans involved, as well.

Some scenes show Lennon in other settings, relaxing and enjoying quiet times on his estate, away from the studio. One in particular, in which a disillusioned young man shows up at Lennon's doorstep, claiming that Lennon had been talking to him in the song, "Carry That Weight", is very creepy, considering Lennon's later demise. Lennon tries to comfort the confused youth, explaining that when he sings, he is only talking about himself, and if others find that what he sings relates to them as well, then that's just fine. Also, that "Carry That Weight" was Paul's song, anyway. Lennon then invites the stranger in for some food.

The shear range of subject matter that finds it's way into Lennon's music is staggering. Lennon's philosophy is shown in the songs "Imagine" and "Crippled Inside". His political fury unleashes itself in "I Don't Wanna Be A Soldier Mama" and "Gimme Some Truth". His frustrated anger toward fellow Beatle Paul McCartney is revealed in "How Do You Sleep?". His love for Yoko is expressed in "Oh, Yoko!", and "Oh My Love", and his own insecurities are dealt with in the songs, "Jealous Guy" and "How?". This is an extremely intimate portrait of the making of John Lennon's most intimate album.

Allen J. Vestal

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