fbpx

THE KILLING OF JOHN LENNON

Director: ANDREW PIDDINGTON

U.K. • 2006 • COLOUR • ANAMORPHIC • DOLBY DIGITAL STEREO • 114 MIN


THIS STUDIOUSLY RESEARCHED DRAMATIC RECONSTRUCTION IS BOUND TO BE CONTROVERSIAL FOR ITS NON-JUDGMENTAL TAKE ON DISTURBED ASSASSIN MARK CHAPMAN, BUT YOU CAN’T SAY YOU’RE FULLY INFORMED ABOUT THE TRAGIC EVENTS OF DECEMBER 1980 UNTIL YOU’VE SEEN IT FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF THE MAN WHO FIRED THE GUN.

What we hear in voiceover as the story of this isolated individual plays out, from his Honolulu home to his carefully planned assault on the former Beatle’s New York apartment, are from Chapman’s own testimony and diaries. What we see, in almost every instance (perhaps understandably, the owners of the Dakota building weren’t keen to have the bloody aftermath of the shooting recreated in their entrance hall, so that bit’s faked), are the actual locations where Chapman lived, simmered, and plotted the outrage which would turn him from a nobody into headline news across the world.

It’s a valid response to feel some qualms about spending time inside this character’s skewed consciousness, and this is far from comfortable viewing. Yet British director Andrew Piddington (best-known for a famous TV doc on photographer Weegee) holds his nerve, and in leading man Jonas Ball he has someone who can show us the tipping point where a dangerously unbalanced mind, already riled by the hypocrisy of someone singing ‘Imagine no possessions’ while also owning a huge property portfolio, takes that next fatal leap into the pages of infamy. If the fact of the Lennon murder has always seemed shockingly hard to believe, this daring film concretises it within the awful logic of a fanatic unencumbered by compassion.—Trevor Johnston.

Book Tickets

}