The streaming wars are no longer a foregone conclusion as the monoculture of choice has diversified into options for all.
Disney+ has made its mark with its rich catalogue of films, along with the Marvel universe and the Star Wars canon including the excellent Mandolorian and the could-be-great Obi Wan Kenobi.
Disney+ has had some big wins in the music space so far with the Beatles’ Get Back 8-hour documentary and Summer Of Soul boosting their offering significantly, to name but two.
Here’s a look at the best of what’s on offer for music films and series on Disney+.
A six-party mini-series directed by Danny Boyle about the rise and fall of one of the establishment-shaking Sex Pistols, Pistol is based on guitarist Steve Jones memoir Lonely Boy: Tales from a Sex Pistol, and charts the English punk’s ignition point and inevitable implosion.
Anson Boon is a razor-witted delight as Johnny Rotten, and Thomas Brodie-Sangster (Game Of Thrones) revels as the svengali manager Malcolm McLaren, and the band’s musical development and notoriety is treated with a refreshing 21st century eye.
Pistol makes time for the women who were often left out of the shorter version of the story – from the fashionable Pamela Rooke (Maisie Williams), to legendary designer-in-waiting Vivienne Westwood (Talulah Riley) to soon-to-be-famous Chrissie Hynde (Sydney Chandler).
Pistol is now streaming exclusively on Disney+.
In which, Lord Of The Rings’ director Peter Jackson trawls through the 60-hours of archive footage and 150 hours of audio from Lindsay-Michael Hogg’s own documentary about the recording of the Beatles’ Let It Be in 1970.
Get Back is nearly 8 hours long and still isn’t long enough, such is the delicious intimacy it offers us into the last days of The Beatles as a band. With beautifully restored footage and cleaned-up audio to a high standard, the three-part series, offers the most realistic depiction of the band as they were – the access we get to Paul, John, Ringo, George (and Malcolm) in this series is unparalleled.
With Get Back, you get to know the personalities of each of the musicians, the creative tussles and dynamics of a famed group on the edge, all while writing some of their best music.
To see Paul write ‘Get Back’ in real time is a thrill upon repeated viewing, it’s like movie magic. Ultimately, the series is concerned with creativity and friendship, as cameras were always rolling, it captures Ringo quitting the band (“i’ll be leaving now”) and McCartney’s fidgeting in the aftermath, the four playing many cover songs, the arrival of keyboardist Billy Preston and the final Rooftop concert, shown in real-time as the police finally bungle their way up the stairs.
It’s an endlessly fascinating, warts and all document of what it was really like to record as the Beatles. Peter Jackson first cut was 18-hours long which I would totally watch too. Yes, it’s that good.