Hamburg plans Beatles tribute

Festival marks 50th anni of city gigs

BERLIN — Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Beatles’ first performance in Germany — and John Lennon’s 70th birthday — the Filmfest Hamburg is honoring the Fab Four this year with the special section, titled Strawberry Fields.

As part of the showcase, Sam Taylor Wood’s “Nowhere Boy” will unspool in its German premiere at the fest, which runs Sept. 9 to Oct. 9 (the day of Lennon’s birth).

Starring Aaron Johnson, “Nowhere Boy” chronicles Lennon’s early years and his relationships with his aunt and mother, his introduction to rock’n’roll and budding friendship with Paul McCartney.

In addition, the fest will screen Iain Softley’s 1994 “Backbeat,” about the Beatles’ years in Hamburg, and Horst Koenigstein’s 1989 fictional drama “Hard Days, Hard Nights,” as well as his 1977 documentary on Ringo Starr, “Ringo und die Stadt am Ende des Regenbogens” (Ringo Starr and the City at the End of the Rainbow).

Also unspooling is “All You Need Is Klaus,” about long-time Beatles pal Klaus Voormann, the German artist and musician who befriended the band in Hamburg and went on to win a Grammy for artwork on the 1966 album “Revolver,” and later joined the Manfred Mann band and Lennon and Yoko Ono’s Plastic Ono Band.

Even the Hamburg police has opened its archives and made some unpublished black and white material available about the return of the “British instrumental and singing quartet” in 1966.

In addition, the fest will showcase the work of another Beatles acquaintance from Hamburg, photographer Juergen Vollmer, credited with inspiring the band members’ iconic hairstyle.

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