In film circles, American and British animation have consolidated a position which renders them inferior to their counterpart from Japan, for they still lack the breath-taking realism Japanese hand-drawn animation emanates. Settling in for a cartoonish feel of storytelling has added very little to the case of its medium being not given due consideration, which I too believe it so earnestly deserves. Yet, whenever haters try to rip the computer animation of the United Kingdom to shreds, there is a name the lovers of it invoke which conjures a silence brooded over as though the tearing pace of the launched Earth had suddenly become audible. The Achilles’ heel – George Dunning’s Yellow Submarine.
I admire the movies which create a medium of their own to tell their stories, but even more do I admire the works which reinvent their medium, accepting its limitations and turning it into its biggest strengths. The unmistakable psychedelic vibes of the affairs of Yellow Submarine encapsulate the very essence of what corners this before mentioned admiration of mine.
I believe every age has a movie of its own. While The Social Network perfectly encapsulates the greed and genius the explosion of information technology brought with it in the 2000’s, there couldn’t have been a finer personification of the bubbling tension caused by the suppression of raw male nature due to consumerism in the 1990’s than Fight Club. The settings here are of the psychedelic 60’s. God knows that whatever that means it certainly meant far more than drugs, though drugs still work as a pretty good handle to the phenomena. The inception of hippie culture had coincided with the paid government experiments on IT – 290, Ditran, L.S.D and what not. I even hear of hippies who would sneak back into the theater for the second half of Kubrick’s 2001 to lay, or lie, flat on their backs on the floor in front of the screen, observing Kubrick’s translucent visual extravaganza from a skewed perspective while they were stoned out of their gourds. Yellow Submarine perfectly caught the gist of these affairs and emulsified the two peak obsessions of the time – Beatles & psychedelia – into one masterpiece, all figured out and wrapped in tissue paper with pink ribbons on it.
It is replete with some of the most visually arresting imagery to have graced the cinema screen. Add to it, the acid-wit of the Marx brothers brand, and what we have is an unrelenting satire by the Beatles of the very stereotypes and myths which so firmly inhabited their careers. For example. take this wonderful exchange between Jeremy and the Beatles :-
[Jeremy is writing with his foot]
Jeremy : The footnotes for my nineteenth book. This is my standard procedure for doing it. And while I compose it, I’m also reviewing it!
George : A boob for all seasons.
Paul : How can he lose?
John : Were your notices good?
Jeremy : It’s my policy never to read my reviews.
Yellow Submarine is one of the most stupendously scripted and constructed cinematic pieces of all time. Its importance is never to cease for it carries with the memories of a time transpired long ago yet envied to date.