All Together Now, a documentary about the making of the Beatles and Cirque du Soleil’s Las Vegas show “LOVE,” made its U.S. debut Monday, opening the sixth annual Silverdocs film festival. As the sound of “Oompah, oompah, stick it up your jumper!” blasted in 5.1 stereo, heads bobbed to the nonsensical directive coursing through the AFI’s Silver Theatre in Silver Spring, Maryland.
Hearing the Beatles’ music pumped through the AFI Silver’s state-of-the-art surround-sound system would have been enough to keep people entertained, but All Together Now director Adrian Wills also provides lovely visuals and many insightful interviews with Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, as well as Olivia Harrison and Yoko Ono (the widows of George Harrison and John Lennon, respectively).
“It’s not just a Beatles movie — it’s a Beatles and Cirque movie,” Wills said. “But you do get exchanges with the Beatles [that you can’t see anywhere else].” A lot of that openness came from the access Wills was granted by Cirque du Soleil, which he has worked with as a documentarian for seven years. “We got a lot of freedom,” Wills said. “Nobody was policing us. I was going in with people I’ve worked with before, and because of that we were able to get material nobody thought we could get.”
“LOVE” began with an idea Harrison shared with Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Laliberte, and All Together Now pays tribute to the late guitarist’s vision. But it also spotlights the immense contribution of Fab Four producer George Martin, who along with his son Giles, remixed and edited 28 Beatles songs for “LOVE.”
“This show is George Martin’s artistic testimony, in a way,” said “LOVE” director Dominic Champagne. “And that’s a great contribution of this movie. It’s the soul of the show, but you can’t see that onstage. But you see it a lot in the movie.”