Chronicles a short holiday taken by a young John Lennon and his brilliant manager Brian Epstein in Barcelona in 1963.
Winner of a Special Jury Prize at Sundance and the Wolfgang Staudte Filmpreis at Berlin.
USA 1991, 57 minutes, Good Machine, Artistic License Films, Antarctic Pictures
Origination format: 35mm B&W
Exhibition format: Print (1.85/mono), DCP (restored by Sundance Collection at UCLA Film & Television Archive)
Archival Print Source: Academy Film Archive
Major festival showings: Toronto International Film Festival (1991); Sundance Film Festival, Park City, Utah (1992, competing); The Film Society of Lincoln Center and The Museum of Modern Art, New York, “New Directors/New Films” (1992); 42. Internationale Filmfestspiele Berlin, “22. Internationales Forum des Jungen Films” (1992); Taormina Arte ‘92 Cinema (1992); IV Mostra Banco Nacional del Cinema, Rio de Janeiro (1993); Athens International Film Festival (1993); Svenska Filminstitutet, Stockholm (1997).
Cast: DAVID ANGUS, IAN HART, STEPHANIE PACK, ROBIN McDONALD, SERGIO MORENO, and UNITY GRIMWOOD.
“Like a scientist, Munch considers the phenomenon in isolation; rather than looking at the band on tour or going behind the scenes of the music industry, he constructs a cinematic petri dish. . . . Munch’s re-creation of the moment is a kind of intellectual archeology, a rediscovery of states of mind and mood—ones in which Lennon’s explosive sense of freedom, inner and outer, resounded around the world.” Richard Brody, The New Yorker
“[A] sharp, concise, evocative film about friendship, about its limitations and the recognition of those limitations. It is novel-size yet short (60 minutes), and utterly specific. Everything superfluous has been cut away.” Vincent Canby, New York Times
“The Hours and Times is so far removed from biopic, docudrama, or cinema verité as to seem sui generis. . . . . The best American indie in many, many years.” (Amy Taubin, Village Voice)
“[U]ncategorizable, unforgettable. . . . Munch’s brave and moving film achieves his goal beautifully.” Peter Travers, Rolling Stone
“A pensive, unmelodramatic time-trip back to an era when rock stars wore ties, The Hours and Times is true to its title: without a whiff of self-importance, first-time director Münch kicks around in the quiet off-hours of a famous 20th century pair of lives, exploring moments that are so inconclusive, yet fraught with significance, that they may as well have really happened.” (Michael Atkinson, Movieline Magazine)
“Exquisitely written and performed. . . . Munch’s understated vignette announced the arrival of a young but fully mature talent.” (David Ansen, Newsweek)
“The Hours and Times delivers on the gossipy allure of its subject without falling into cheapness or hero worship. Though only an hour long, it's the most unexpectedly engrossing American movie I've seen this year.” (John Powers, New York Magazine)
“[U]nassuming and utterly original. ” (David Sterritt, Christian Science Monitor)
“Extraordinary performances, a tight script, and elegant, witty direction make this a shining example of independent film making at its best.” (Paul Burston, City Limits, London)
“[B]eautifully paced, the dialogue elegantly tuned, the performances by David Angus (Epstein) and Ian Hart (Lennon) emotionally revealing and scrupulously unfussy. Whatever really happened between the men, this poignant, fragmentary film rings true. Validation enough, surely.” (Tom Charity, Time Out London)
“[A]n elegantly no-frills chamber piece . . . a narrative of remarkable precision – conventional without seeming clichéd, raising deftness and economy to a form of elegance. . . . Münch's work is as steeped in eternal ambivalence as it is in ancient history – it’s as true to the hours as it is to the times.” (J. Hoberman, Village Voice)
“This very quiet chamber drama, meticulously acted and written with what feels like an uncannily accurate ear, is as much about differences in class and talent as it is about differences in sexual orientation.” (Larry Gross, Movieline Magazine)
“The first-rate performances and the kind of mature conversation and emotion [are] missing from today’s homogenized and so often juvenile American movies.” (Siskel & Ebert)
“One of the best films of the year.” (Film Comment, Village Voice, Entertainment Weekly, Rolling Stone, Interview Magazine, Atlantic Monthly, Movieline, etc.)