Saturday, June 05, 2010

Reel People: Aaron Johnson is John Lennon

The film is Nowhere Boy directed by Sam Taylor Wood. Matt Greenhalgh wrote the screenplay based on The Private John Lennon: The Untold Story from His Sister by Julia Baird.

John Lennon

John Winston Lennon was born to Julia and Alfred Lennon in Liverpool England, October 9, 1940. He was named after his paternal grandfather and Winston Churchill.

Lennon's father was a merchant seaman during WWII, and when he returned in 1944 to his family, he found Julia pregnant with another man's baby and not interested in Alfred's return. Julia also turned her son John into the hands of sister and her husband Mary "Mimi" and George Smith. Even though he lived with his aunt and uncle, he still saw his mother regularly.

With the Smith's Lennon was raised an Anglican. But was not overly religious himself.

Lennon was able to make it into high school but while there was considered a class clown. During Lennon's high school years his uncle died (1955), it would be three years later when Lennon's mother would die when struck by a car.

A year before Lennon's mother died, she had bought him a guitar, despite the fact that Lennon's aunt Mimi was hoping that Lennon would get more serious about his studies and that his fascination with music would subside. Lennon's fascination with music had led him at the age of 16 in 1956 to start a band called the Quarrymen, named after Quarry Bank High School where most of the members attended.

In 1957 Lennon met John McCartney at a concert in Woolten, and he shortly was invited to join the band. In 1958 McCartney arranged a meeting for Lennon to met George McCartney, and although Lennon thought Harrison too young, but was allowed into the band. This band shortly after became The Beatles.

By 1963 The Beatles had mainstream success in the UK, which was shortly followed by international stardom when they performed on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1964.

During these years of fame, John Lennon's wife Cynthia Lennon (married 1962-1968), had a son Julian Lennon.

After a rise in popularity, a rise in controversy occurred, particularly with the 1966 controversy created by a quote in the American teen magazine Date Book, where Lennon gave the infamous quote: "Christianity will go. It will vanish and shrink. I needn't argue about that; I'm right and I'll be proved right. We're more popular than Jesus now; I don't know which will go first—rock 'n' roll or Christianity. Jesus was all right but his disciples were thick and ordinary. It's them twisting it that ruins it for me."

This controversy coincided with a time when Lennon's use of LSD was greatly impacting his behavior and his song writing. It was during this time the unique Magical Mystery Tour launched and Yoko Ono having a unique pull on the band.

Yoko Ono and John Lennon were married March 20, 1969. It was during this time Ono and Lennon began making music together. In September of 1969 Lennon left the Beatles officially.

Lennon continued to write music, which often was associated either with peace issues, or emotions associated with childhood trauma.

In 1973, Ono and Lennon separated, and Lennon had a new girlfriend May Pang. They were together for 18 months, Lennon would re-unite with Ono, and in October of 1975 Lennon would have his second son Sean with Ono.

After Sean was born John became a family man and did not pursue his music career as he had previously.

December 8, 1980 John Lennon was assassinated by Mark David Chapman in an event that became an international tragedy. Ono made an announcement the following day that there would be no funeral for John, instead he was cremated in a quite way, and ashes scattered Ferncliffe Cemetery in New York.

Nowhere Boy

This film, tells the story based on Lennon's half sister Julia's memoir of Lennon's younger days in Liverpool. Aaron Johnson plays Lennon (Johnson is currently 19, so this film clearly focuses on the earlier portion of Lennon's life).

Anne Marie Duff plays his half sister Julia Baird and Kristin Scott Thomas plays his aunt, Mimi Smith.

The film received attention in the UK but has not yet been released in the US.

Could this film, or Aaron Johnson receive some award attention this year for his portrayal of this iconic Reel (Real) Person?

1 comment:

Simon said...

How I want to see this...

Anyways, amazing person, Lennon was.