Apart from the title song, the most celebrated tune on Let it Be is John’s masterful ‘Across the Universe.’ This is one of those quintessential Beatles tunes that really gets to the heart of what made them special… the combination of simple melody, inspired production and enlightened lyrics.
It’s ironic that John repeats the phrase “nothing’s gonna change my world” when this song is a perfect example of how he and The Beatles changed everybody else’s world through their music.
Across the Universe is simultaneously one of the most unjustly maligned and disproportionally worshiped movies in recent history. It was largely panned by critics who found it corny, earnest and shallow… and it is the favorite film of hordes of mostly teenage fans who find it the pinnacle of romance.
I find both positions extreme, but if I had to throw my lot in with one of them it would be the romantics. Yes, Across the Universe is corny, earnest and shallow, but it has a vision and a spirit lacking in most studio offerings. And it has the music of The Beatles — two hours of some of the best songs ever written sung by pretty people with pretty voices. What’s not to like?
Apparently one of the fringe benefits of dating a world-class filmmaker is taking advantage of his talents for your music videos. During their several years together, Paul Thomas Anderson directed half a dozen videos for Fiona Apple and every one is special.
Among my favorites are the big-band dance number he staged for the ‘Paper Bag’ video and today’s selection, a black-and-white short for her cover of The Beatles’ ‘Across the Universe.’