The Hours and Times Cover It was the best of times. It was the worst of times. But most importantly of all, it was about f*cking time to sit down and watch this 60 minute movie made in 1991. It was Directed by the one and only: Christopher Münch; and Starred those two adorable love-birds: David Angus and Ian Hart.

The Hours and Times

As I sit in some poncy 'Gentlemen's Club' situated somewhere in Barcelona, Spain, I can't but think to myself what the f*ck I'm doing here!

Well, my head is telling me I should go back home and be with my wife, Cynthia, especially since she's about to give birth to our first child. Where as another part of my head -- most probably the lower one -- is screaming out to me to have a bloody good time with my la-di-da manager, Brian Epstein (David Angus).

Come on, folks. Let's face it. Being one forth of the biggest pop group in recent history isn't very easy you know. What with the touring, the music, and all of that other bull*cks we have to deal with on a daily basis. Plus let's not forget that Brian himself isn't that bad a bloke once you get the chance to know him.

OK. So he might be a poof. A very repressed poof at that. Who isn't able to tell you what he's feeling unless he's half cut or dying to get his leg over. On the other hand, though, Brian was willing to pay for this little jaunt of ours. A little jaunt where I got the chance to chat up a lovely stewardess on the flight over, as well meet another Nancy boy who's sitting right beside me at this very moment.

Hmmm. Then again, that's most probably why what next transpires all goes for a song when Brian say's to me, 'John Lennon (Ian Hart)? Shall we all adjourn to our hotel room now?'. As a walk in the past is full of doom and gloom - a kiss in the bath smells of stale perfume - a manager and his Beatle seem like very close chums - and at the end of the day, come on Ringo, get out your plums.

In it own artistic way 'The Hours And The Times' is a fairly avantgarde film which attempts to hypothesize what happened between John Lennon and Brian Epstein when they went to Spain together in 1963. Well, let's face it, dear reader. If you're a Beatles fan like me, you can't help but wonder why they 'went away' during this very crucial point in their respective careers. What with John's wife expecting there first kid and Brian still trying to find his feet in the music industry.

To me -- personally speaking -- this act feels like a very strange thing to do. And funnily enough, 'strange' is a very appropriate word to baptize this movie with.

Of course I do mean this with all due respect because I don't have anything against the basic premise behind this picture. It’s arty in temperament. Black and white in tone. Plus it has a somewhat grey attitude towards its own contents.

But from my perspective it's precisely that latter factor I wasn't too keen on myself. Those grey parts of the overall story-line where the writer put on his 'hypothetical hat' and second guessed himself out of the plot, even though at times you could tell he also researched certain areas of the general mythos.

Hey! Let's cut to the chase. Did John and Brian shag each other as this film implies? Or is this claim nothing more than bold titivation put on display for the movie going public? I'm sure we will never know the whole truth, because -- regrettably -- John and Brian are no longer with us, and any evidence left behind is... errr... how can I put this? Left up in the air for everyone to re-interpret however they so wish.

Now on a more positive note, my friends, I did enjoy how this drama tried to explore their relationship through the course of this film. Particularly how John kept on poking fun out of Brian's 'perculiar habits'. Almost making these two real life characters into the proverbial 'Odd couple'. Also, I must applaud Ian and David for being able to inhabit these legendary figures, whist bringing along with them a sense of validity -- something that the script in itself didn't seem to be able to possess.

John Lennon and Brian Epstein

Anyway. I'm sure by now you got the basic gist about what I thought about this film. All in all it was a pretty ying / yang artsy film. And what now follows are its filmic-facts. (1) 'Antarctic Pictures' first screened this production at the 'Toronto Film Festival', Canada, on the exact same day Harry Hamlin married Nicollette Sheridan. It was on the 7th of September, 1991. (2) The hotel featured in this film is actually the 'Avenida Palace Hotel', located in Barcelona, Spain. And coincidentally, the Beatles stayed here when they gave their only concert in Barcelona, on the 3rd of July, 1965. (3) According to the makers of this movie, some of Brian's back-story about him being beaten, robbed, and blackmailed, came from the 1983 book, "The Love You Make", written by Peter Brown and Steven Gaines. (4) During this adventure both John and Brian go to the cinema together and watch the Ingmar Bergman drama, 'The Silence'. However, this Bergman classic wasn't released until five months after this period of time --September 1963, and not April 1963. (5) Quite a few years before the Beatles were formed, Brian's Dad, Harry Epstein, met Paul's Dad, Jim McCartney, when he sold him a piano. (6) Christopher Münch wrote this film in a couple of weeks, and never expected to secure any form of film distribution, especially since he only saw it a "DIY exercise". (7) After Brian died John told a journalist that he blamed himself for his death because he was the one who first introduced him to 'popping pills'. (8) Not only did this production win the 'Special Jury Recognition Award' at the 1992 'Sundance Film Festival', but it was also nominated for the 'Grand Jury Prize' too.

Overall I'd say 'The Hours And The Times' was a pretty so-so film about a pretty so-so subject matter. Even though I thoroughly enjoyed some parts of it, in the same breath there were other parts I wasn't too keen on at all. Don't you agree, Brian old pal?

Hmm! Nuff said,