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LOOK AT ME. → New 4K music video using rare and unseen 8mm film footage from 1968.

Rare & unseen footage featuring John & Yoko directing 'Film No. 5' ('Smile') and 'Two Virgins' at their Kenwood home in June 1968.


LOOK AT ME.

LOOK AT ME.

On 9th June 1968, at John’s home ‘Kenwood’ in Weybridge, Surrey, John & Yoko began a collaborative period of creative film-making that would end up lasting four years, beginning with two films called ‘Film No. 5’ (‘Smile’) (conceived by Yoko) and ‘Two Virgins’ (conceived by John & Yoko) that would premiere at the Chicago Film Festival later that year. The filming involved specialist high-speed 16mm cameras (in those days mainly used for filming scientific experiments) operated by William Wareing and his team.

Stills from 'Film No. 5' ('Smile') (left) and 'Two Virgins' (right), 9 June 1968.

For ‘Film No. 5’ (‘Smile’), the magic of John smiling is captured in ultra slow motion (with the film running through the camera at ultra high-speed), and for ‘Two Virgins’, they filmed with a different high-speed camera and used a trick that John had employed when filming with his Standard 8 cameras of rewinding all the film and running it through the camera a second time, to double expose the negative. They filmed John’s face, rewound the film and then filmed Yoko’s face, creating in-camera superimpositions of their faces merging.

Three original drawings by John Lennon documenting the filming of 'Film No. 5' ('Smile') (left and middle) and 'Two Virgins' (right).

Excerpts from these two films can be seen in the music video ‘Number 9 Dream’ (below).

Between takes, Wareing also filmed three rolls of ‘home movie’ Standard 8 film – one in black and white, the other two in colour.

We see John & Yoko in the sun room, where John sat playing a nylon stringed guitar, and where, among other things, you can see John’s drum skin from the Sgt Pepper album cover (designed by Joe Ephgrave) and his psychedelic upright piano (painted by Marijke Koger and Simon Posthuma from Dutch design collective, The Fool) and, with most success, around the swimming pool, where Yoko dances and John plays a steel string acoustic guitar.

We also see John & Yoko in the kitchen, where John pets their black cat, Salt (the white one was called Pepper) and Yoko prepares some food.

John & Yoko filming 'Film No. 5' ('Smile') with William Wareing and his team, 9 June 1968.

These Standard 8 film reels are presented here, side-by-side, for the first time, accompanied by John’s song ‘Look At Me‘ from the John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band – The Ultimate Collection album.

John's self-portrait with mirrors using Leslie Bryce’s Rollieflex camera in his
recording studio upstairs at home at ‘Kenwood’, Weybridge, Surrey, 29 June 1967.

LOOK AT ME.

John: A couple of tracks, which one would suppose were written under therapy, like ‘Look At Me’, were written pre-Janov, about a year before therapy. But the theme was the same: ‘Look at me’, ‘Who am I?’, all that jazz. So that’s why I stuck it on that album. But actually it had come from beforehand.

Yoko: That was probably something that came from the fact that he really wanted his mother to look at him, but the song itself was about ‘look at me’ to the world.

John with George Martin at EMI Studios, Abbey Road, 1967.

John: Two years before I met Yoko, I was really going through a ‘What’s it all about? This songwriting is nothing. It’s pointless and I’m no good, I’m not talented and I’m shit. I couldn’t do anything but be a Beatle and what am I going to do about it?’

And it lasted nearly two years and I was still in it during Sgt. Pepper.

John during the filming of Magical Mystery Tour, 1967.

When we first did acid, our ego that was interfering with our relationship together as the Beatles. I had a tremendous ego that got me where I was, but I spent two years killing it stone dead. I’m a naturally nervous and paranoid person, and without an ego, I was nothing.

John Lennon in India, 1968.

I was just coming out of it before I met Yoko. India helped a lot, three months out there. She filled me completely to realise that I was me and it’s all right. And that was it. I started fighting again.

'Look At Me' handwritten lyrics by John Lennon.

LOOK AT ME

Look at me
Who am I supposed to be?
Who am I supposed to be?

Look at me
What am I supposed to be?
What am I supposed to be?Look at me

Oh, my love
Oh, my love

Here I am
What am I supposed to do?
What am I supposed to do?

Here I am
What can I do for you?
What can I do for you?

Here I am
Oh, my love
Oh, my love

Look at me
Oh, please look at me, my love
Here I am
Oh, my love

Who am I?
Nobody knows but me
Nobody knows but me

Who am I?
Nobody else can see
Just you and me
Who are we?

Oh, my love
Oh, my love

Written by John Lennon © Lenono Music
John Lennon: guitar and vocals
Produced by John & Yoko and Phil Spector
Recorded at EMI Studio 2, 3 Abbey Road, London, 18 October 1970.

JOHN LENNON/PLASTIC ONO BAND - THE ULTIMATE COLLECTION - DELUXE BOX SET

Look At Me‘ (The Ultimate Mix) is one of the 159 new mixes available on:
JOHN LENNON/PLASTIC ONO BAND – THE ULTIMATE COLLECTION
DELUXE BOX SET.