“THE HOURS AND THE TIMES”— What Might Have Happened

“THE HOURS AND THE TIMES”

What Might Have Happened

Amos Lassen

“The Hours and the Times” was originally released in 1991 during the height of the New Queer Cinema movement. Christopher Munch  directed this original and fictional account of what might have happened in April 1963, when John Lennon and Beatles manager Brian Epstein traveled to Barcelona for an extended weekend vacation. In the four days they provocative Lennon (Ian Hart) reflect on their lives, both private and professional, as they explore their unique bond. Filmed in black-and-white, this is a thoughtful meditation on friendship and sexuality.

We know that Epstein was gay. and felt physically attracted to Lennon who felt emotionally invested in Epstein. There isn’t much of a script and what there is filled with banter. We see how so much can be said through the visual medium of film. A movie doesn’t need to be loud to resonate. Director Munch gives his characters room to breathe and trusts his audience to use their imaginations and become part of the process.

Lennon constantly berates Brian about Brian’s homosexuality and religion (Epstein was Jewish), but Brian tolerates it. He has a crush on John, and John seems more than a little curious about taking things beyond the friendship stage.

Christopher Munch shot the film in black and white and Hart and Angus are great as Lennon and Epstein, making the pair’s friendship very natural. The film was remastered and restored for Sundance 2019 and will soon be available to the public on DVD and Blu ray.

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