As a Beatles fan, I thought I’d share this interesting little film, which animates an interview which Jerry Levitan conducted with John Lennon in 1969 when Levitan was only 14.
Just to give a little historical perspective, 1969 was the year that Abby Road was released, the Beatles performed together for the last time, and was the year that Lennon and Yono conducted their famous “Bed-In” in Montreal Quebec. A lot happened in 1969: it was a time when the space race was in full force, with Russia and the U.S. leap-frogging each other into the great frontier, culminating in the U.S. landing the first man on the moon, Apollo 11, with Neil Armstrong’s famous “one small step for mankind” proclamation. The Cold War with Russia was at a boiling point. It was a tumultuous time: Nixon was president, the Vietnam war was in full force, the draft lottery was held for the first time since WWII, and Nixon proclaim the “Nixon Doctrine” that he expected Asian allies to be responsible for their own military defense. Antiwar demonstrations were at their peak, so much so that Nixon asks for the “silent majority” to join in solidarity in support of the troops. Some events that changed our lives forever that year include: a little Arkansas corporation called Wal-mart is formed, the first GAP store opens in San Francisco, the AIDS virus first spread to the US, the first automatic teller machine was installed in the US in Rockville Centre, New York and the first ARPANET link, the ancestor of the Internet, was established. Culturally, Monty Python’s Flying Circus debuts in the UK, Sesame Street premieres, and the New York Jets defeated the Baltimore Colts in Superbowl III. Notable births that year included Brett Favre, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Matthew McConaughey, and Jennifer Lopez. Notable deaths include Dwight D. Eisenhower, King Saud (Saudi Arabia), Judy Garland, Boris Karloff and Rocky Marciano.
Levitan was producer for I Met the Walrus. In 2007, he hired Josh Raskin to direct and animate the short film on behalf of his production company. It was illustrated by James Braithwaite, who Levitan described as “brilliant.” It has won numerous awards, including the Best Animated Short awards from the American Film Institute, the Middle East International Film Festival, the Manhattan Short Film Festival, the Cleveland Film Festival, RiverRun International Film Festival and the Coup de Coeur award from the Regard-Saguenay International Sort Film Festival. It was nominated for an Academy Award (Oscar) in 2008 by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences.
Jerry Levitan informs me that he written a book by the same, I Met the Walrus, which comes out in May under the Harper Collins imprint. You can find out more about Mr. Levitan at www.sir-jerry.com.
Thanks to my good friend Gray for turning me on to this film and thanks to Jerry Levitan for the kind words about my humble blog!
See these related links:
Film company website.
Read more about the film here.