Any fan of John Lennon will embrace this unassuming little film from 2013, Living is Easy with Eyes Closed. I happened upon it by chance, looking for some light entertainment one evening. It turned out to be a Spanish film, taking place in southern Spain in 1966, when John Lennon was there filming How I Won the War. The film is said to be inspired by a true story. David Trueba wrote the screenplay and directed this engaging movie. It is not rated, although I’d place it at about PG-13 content.
The story involves three people: A school teacher obsessed with the Beatles and John Lennon in particular; a young lady fleeing her residence at a girls’ home; and a boy escaping his family, hitchhiking to nowhere in particular it seems.
Antonio (Javier Camara) teaches English to schoolboys by way of Beatles' poetry, and borrows a car to make the trip to Almeria on his quest to actually meet John Lennon while he is there filming.
He picks up first Belen (Natalia de Molina) at a gas station, and then Juanjo (Francesc Colomer) joins the two, thus beginning this road trip. It was fascinating to see Spain depicted during the 60’s, the barren hills leading down to the sea, the landscape of the coastal town, the simple life of the townspeople. The story pulled me along, just as enchanting to me as the poetry of John Lennon still is.
Belen is mature for her age, and yet so vulnerable. Juanjo is just learning to assert himself and has challenges to overcome, as the world then was as full of bullies as it is today. He wants to copy the Beatles’ hairstyles just like the boys in America did. Music was everything in the 60’s, and the musicians our role models for peace and love.
Antonio wants the lyrics printed on the Beatles' albums so he can better teach English to his students, and wishes to speak to John about this. He basically stalks him on the movie set. Meanwhile, the two young people must make decisions about their life direction, something that Antonio ostensibly helps them do.
There have been other films inspired by alleged encounters with famous people, and this one fascinates just as much. Pat Metheny composed the pleasing acoustic score and Charlie Haden is another featured composer.
This Spanish movie has the feel of an independent film, something I discussed in my last post on Frances Ha. You might classify it as an art house film, something I will blog about in a future post. You get both a foreign, and an independent film if you watch this one (unless of course you live in Spain).
Please feel free to comment on any of my blog posts. I know I have readers, the stats show it, and so I encourage some dialogue. If you have any films or genres you’d like to suggest, do that too. Until next time, here is the trailer for the enchanting film Living is Easy with Eyes Closed.