For this first assignment you should write a short analytical essay (~500 words; no need for an introduction/conclusion) focusing on ONE musical sequence from one of the first two Beatles movies (A Hard Day’s Night or Help!). Your job is to analyze how the Beatles’s music is used in the sequence. Is the song integrated into the storylinemeaning, does it advance the plot? Does the musical number make narrative sense? Does the subject matter of the songs reflect the story/theme of the movie? Are the Beatles themselves shown performing? In what context?
Remember the distinction we’ve made in class between diegetic and non-diegetic music in musical theatre as well as movie musicals. Make sure to comment on whether the video and sound editing works in conjunction (or opposition) to any narrative and diegetic considerations. Again, you should focus on ONE specific song/musical number to make specific comments on the points outlined above.
Please note that the title sequence from Help! (i.e. the song “Help!”) is not an acceptable choice for this assignment, as it was analyzed extensively in class.
Both movies are available in the Library; they can also be found online, but as usual, make sure you’re watching a full/unedited version if you do so.