Norwegian Film Given Access to the Beatles’ Music

– The Beatles are famous for protecting their music, says Beatles fan and one of the most respected music journalists in Norway, Finn Tokvam.

Beatles-1969-bw-photo-c-apple-corps-ltd-20091One year ago, Kon-Tiki-directors Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg announced that they were planning to make a film based on Norwegian author Lars Saabye Christensen’s novel “Beatles” (1984).

The Norwegian Film Institute is willing to give economical support depending on whether the music rights are approved by the Beatles.

The surviving members Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, as well as family members of George Harrison and John Lennon all have to approve the use of music in the coming film.

Now it turns out that the Norwegian film has received permission to use a selection of songs.

– We explained the importance of the novel in Norwegian consciousness, how important the music is in the novel, and what kind of film we actually want to make. Now we have got permission to use the Beatles’ music, and we are allowed to use the original recordings, says producer Jørgen Storm Rosenberg.

– I’m fu**ing impressed! It’s a fantastic start. The Beatles are famous for protecting their music, and they have only grown bigger. It is 40 years since their last record, and this will probably attract international attention, Tokvam says.

Beatles Lars SaabyeBecause of bickering between Apple and the Beatles own label Apple Records, the band was among the last to launch their music on iTunes. In 2007, Tokvam tasted the ‘Beatles bureaucracy’ when he and radio co-host Bård Ose launched 212 Beatles songs in the podcast called Our Daily Beatles.

The songs were quickly removed.

– It became world news: ‘Finally, the Beatles available on Internet’. But it was stopped. The podcast went straight to the top, but then came the lawyers. Yet, I am quite proud to have been mentioned in Rolling Stone Magazine, he laughs.

Several other film project about the Beatles – from German Backbeat to the upcoming movie about manager Brian Epstein – have not been given access to the original recordings. Finn Tokvam believes that the story about Kim, Ola, Seb and Gunnar in the 60’s depends on music by the Beatles. The way they are waiting for, discovering and experiencing the music are central themes in the popular book.

– The Beatles is the magic in Saabye’s novel. It would have been difficult to make the film without using music, The Beatles is a wonderful symbol of the period, says Tokvam.

Producer Stormberg will neither reveal the price nor which songs they have been given access to.

– I do not wish to tell. It is like telling the main character dies, he tells the newspaper VG.

The film is intended for theatrical release in February 2014.


Summary: Beatles by Lars Saabye Christensen (Wikipedia)

Beatles is a novel written by the Norwegian author Lars Saabye Christensen. The book was first published in 1984. It takes its title from the English rock band The Beatles, and all the chapters are named after Beatles songs or albums. The book tells the story of four Oslo boys in the years from 1965 to 1972, recapitulating their adolescent years and early adulthood. The boys have a common interest – worship of the Beatles, and take on the names of the group members, John, Paul, George and Ringo. Each of them shares some characteristics with the chosen member.

The main character and storyteller, Kim Karlsen (Paul), is writing the entire story in flashbacks from a sheltered and closed summer residence in the Nesodden area. He has recently escaped from the asylum of Gaustad in Oslo. He rewrites his story from the spring of 1965 to the present day (winter 1972-1973).

Kim and his friends, Gunnar (John), Sebastian (George) and Ola (Ringo), played football together, collected Beatles records and stole attributes from cars. This last hobby was abandoned after an incident with an embassy car, and the entire collection was dumped in the fjord. Kim is known as a notorious liar, while Gunnar is the truth-seeker. Ola is the stuttering fat one, and Sebastian is a spiritualist. In time, Kim is the first to get a girlfriend, Nina, who is on and off over the years. The boys get involved in the Norwegian hippie movement in the late 1960s, experiment with drugs, and Sebastian gets so hooked the others have to look for him in Paris, where he lives the life of a junkie, but is saved by his friends (1968). Kim has a nervous breakdown and tells the end of his story from inside the asylum at the time of the Norwegian European Communities membership referendum, 1972. He escapes as the result is clear and retires to Nesodden for writing his story.


Text translated and modified by: Anette Broteng Christiansen, ThorNews

Source: NRK

Photo: Music for Media

Book cover by CappelenDamm

Categories: Culture, Film & TV, Music, Reading

1 reply

  1. Sounds like an intriguing book.

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