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The Hours and Times

The Hours and Times
February 17, 2019 - 8:59 pm

Access every screening in the UCLA Festival of Preservation with a $50 pass.

The Hours and Times  (1991)

Preservation funding provided by Oscilloscope Laboratories and Sundance Institute.

Filmed on a non-existent budget over the course of just a few days, The Hours and Times presents a speculative account of the weekend that John Lennon and The Beatles’ manager Brian Epstein spent in Barcelona. In the spring of 1963, just prior to the eruption of Beatlemania, the young, working-class art school dropout Lennon and the upper-class Epstein get away from it all for a long weekend of rest and relaxation. The homosexual Epstein clearly has a fascination and a desire for the young Lennon despite their differences. Lennon is curious and playful. Director Christopher Munch presents a hypothetical game of sexual chess between the two men. The positions of power and control are shifting throughout. What could be a lurid, gossip-driven exploitation manages to be the exact opposite. Munch instead delivers a nuanced, non-sensationalized study of a friendship.  

With beautiful black and white photography evocative of A Hard Day’s Night, the film almost plays like a documentary. The two actors, David Angus and Ian Hart, deliver strong, tension-filled performances as men on the precipice of great changes. Hart shines as the young John Lennon. In fact he later reprised the role of Lennon in the film Backbeat (1994).

Although The Hours and Times was filmed as an exercise by Munch, without expectation of presentation or distribution, it made quite a splash on the festival circuit.  It premiered at the Toronto Festival of Festivals (now known as TIFF), won Independent Spirit Awards as well as a Special Jury prize at the 1992 Sundance Film Festival and was nominated for the Grand Jury prize. It was presented at Sundance with several other LGBT features and became known as part of the “New Queer Cinema.”Jillian Borders

DCP, b/w, 57 min. Production: Antarctic Pictures. Distribution: Good Machine. Producer: Christopher Munch. Director: Christopher Munch. Screenwriter: Christopher Munch. Cast: David Angus, Ian Hart, Stephanie Pack.

Preserved by UCLA Film & Television Archive from the 35mm original picture negative and 35mm original track negative. Laboratory services by Roundabout Entertainment, FotoKem, UCLA Film & Television Archive.