See John Lennon’s love letter to New York City

Like Martin Scorsese’s Bob Dylan documentary, No Direction Home, LENNONYC is something of a hagiography: the story of Lennon’s last decade, and his love affair with New York City, as told by Yoko Ono, Elton John and a handful of others. Like Scorsese’s film, this one is full of previously unheard recordings and previously unseen outtakes and home movies. It, too, is a totally flawed, totally human, totally fascinating document

Lennon himself is as sharp and acerbic (perhaps even more so) as you’d expect him to be. But we were also struck by his honesty, curiosity and, finally, modesty: one snippet of 16-mm film shows him at a party; Andy Warhol, Allen Ginsburg, and Jonas Mekas are all there, but Lennon’s the one sitting, cross-legged, on the floor. It’s a lovely moment, and we’re tremendously lucky to have it on film. (LENNONYC premieres on PBS next Monday, at 9 p.m.)

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