What artwork, produced in any medium, would I want with me on a desert island?
There’s no contest!
The Beatles’ first movie, A Hard Day’s Night. I’ve watched it over 50 times (and probably more) since it was released in 1964. Twenty of those screenings took place over the course of two weeks in 1968 while playing on a double bill with The Beatles’ second movie, Help! After the 10th consecutive viewing, the kind manager of the Cinema Village on 12th Street in Manhattan allowed me in for free, and I stayed from first showing to last. I took a hiatus after 20, but over the past almost two decades, I haven’t missed the opportunity to watch A Hard Day’s Night on TV (TCM), VHS, DVD or streaming. No matter what emotional sinkhole I’m stuck in, this movie is a tonic.
If you give a hoot about what gives me even more joy than the film itself, it is the end title sequence designed by the photographer Robert Freeman, who also produced many other memorable Beatles images. I can watch his series of stop-action animated Beatles head and hair closeups repeatedly … and did exactly that this past weekend during a bout of post-summer malaise. It did the trick, as always.
Head to Lola Landekics’ Art of the Title website to watch the end credits.