The Hours and Times

Director: Christopher Munch
Screenwriters: Christopher Munch

Institute History

  • 1992 Sundance Film Festival

Description

At first glance one might be tempted to think he or she has stumbled across something astounding: a lost film with John Lennon. Instead it is the poignant work of a truly remarkable and talented Los Angeles independent filmmaker, Christopher Münch. The Hours and Times is a fictional account of John Lennon’s and Brian Epstein’s weekend in Barcelona, a weekend which marked a critical juncture in both men’s lives. It is 1963, and the two men have concluded a grueling winter of touring. A young Lennon has just fathered his first son and is reckoning with marriage and family life while poised on the brink of Beatlemania. Epstein is psychologically preparing for the whirlwind adventure that lies ahead for himself and The Beatles, aware that the future holds promise as well as personal tribulation. Barcelona will be one of the final moments of peaceful companionship he can share with the impatient, jittery, but brilliant musician for whom he holds so much unfulfilled affection. Also mindful that the time represents a bittersweet end to their special relationship, Lennon looks forward to the weekend as a chance to relax with the cultured and sophisticated manager he fondly admires. In the four days they spend together in the beautiful Hotel Avenida Palace, the suave Epstein and the provocative Lennon reflect on their lives, both private and professional, celebrate their friendship, and intimately explore the unique bond they share.

Münch has masterfully fashioned a dignified, intense and thoughtful meditation on friendship from a small moment in the lives of two extremely well-known pop figures. The perfectly subdued performances and uncanny resemblances of Ian Hart to Lennon and David Angus to Epstein make The Hours and Times a beautifully convincing portrait. Through the combination of Münch’s resourceful direction, exquisite black-and-white cinematography and gifted writing, an unassuming drama manages over the span of a brief hour to express the complex, generous and ambiguous relationship between two men, and capture the subtle flavorings of 1963 Europe. The Hours and Times is a refined work of personal passion—an impeccable gem.

— Alberto Garcia

Screening Details

Sundance Film Festival Awards

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