Tuesday, April 9, 2013

A to Z Blogging Challenge: Help!

Help! Help! Help! Yeah - I mean, yeah, yeah, yeah - like, The Beatles movie.

Cheesy, comedic, and culturally insensitive, "Help!" is a favourite movie of mine. After all, It stars The Beatles (and Beethoven's "Ode to Joy").

Besides my apparent fangirlish nature, I do have many reasons for enjoying this movie.

The music. The Beatles' album of the same title contains some of my favorite Beatles tunes. Due to their musical evolution and the progression of the interpersonal relationships within the band, "Help!" symbolizes a period of musical cohesion for the band. That said, the title track is catchy and upbeat - but have you ever read the lyrics as a standalone piece? This movie is cute and artistic, but it says something more - as does John Lennon.

While The Beatles were truly innovative, McCartney has repeatedly said that they were simply bringing existing elements of counterculture into the mainstream - not inventing them. "Help!" represents a fading innocence years before the counterculture sensed it. As a result, I feel like I have a completely different read on the movie and song than people of my parents' generation.

The tiger. As a kid, I loved the tiger. The tiger randomly appears when Ringo is trapped in his basement along with his fancy ring. As the tiger enters the room, there is dramatic cinematography and a poignant subtitle: A tiger.

Last innocent foray. "Help!" represents The Beatles' last film frolic, mainly construed as 'innocent' by contemporary audiences. After this, it was into the realm of psychodelia and legal battles.

  • PBS regularly broadcasts it, so it has to be good for you.
  • The film uses a derivative of the Thuggee Cult (also used in "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.") See tomorrow's post for an expanded discussion on use of this cult as a device in movies.


  1. I'd never thought that. You're quite right. At the time of Help, the world was more innocent to all intents and purposes. We never heard about evil undercurrents.

  2. I never thought about it, but you are right. It is fascinating to read any of their lyrics, standing alone. I love, love, love the Beatles. Hi, I am your newest follower from the A to Z challenge. I am number 528 on the list.

    If my comment makes it to your blog then I have a suggestion. Have you considered removing the word verification from your comment section? It is entirely too difficult for some of us older folks to type those tiny words and numbers, correctly. It always takes me more than one attempt and I give up after the second. The A to Z host and many of the co-host demonstrated how to remove the word verification and the necessity of removing it for the blogging challenge. Blogger has a good spam filter, without the word verification requirement. If you hope to gain more followers and commenters, it is a good idea to make it as easy as possible for people to leave a comment on your blog post. Just a thought.

  3. It makes sense, I didn't even realize you had to fill in a reCapta.