Ryan White

Good Ol Freda

Editor’s Note: Our review of Good Ol’ Freda originally ran during this year’s SXSW film festival, but we’re re-running it now as the film opens in limited release today. Is there any pop culture subject that’s been more exhaustively covered through documentaries than The Beatles? Both John Lennon and George Harrison have received excellent posthumous documentary treatments, and the band as a whole enjoyed one of the most comprehensive official docu-treatments in rock history with the 8-part Beatles Anthology. It seems like we’ve got the most popular band in modern history just about covered, right? Not so fast. Of the many (repeated) stories told about The Beatles time and again, there have also been stories about those who surrounded the band, who took essential roles alongside the margins in making The Fab Four exactly how we perceive them to be today. George Martin is now one of the best-known producers in the history of rock n’ roll. Manager Brian Epstein is viewed as a martyr of a former England that criminalized homosexuality. The Hamburg-based romance between pre-fame Beatle Stuart Sutcliffe and photographer Astrid Kircherr has been immortalized in rock history (specifically through Kircherr’s iconic black-and-white photographs of the band in their earliest years). And now another previously sidelined story has been brought to the fore. Ryan White’s second documentary feature, Good Ol’ Freda, chronicles the life and work of an important but rarely discussed member of the close-knit world of The Beatles: Freda Kelly, Epstein’s secretary and the head of […]

read more...

Good Ol Freda

There’s a chance that a Beatles documentary may not interest you simply because of how exhaustively the band’s been covered in the past. The idea that anyone could deliver their stories from a new angle seems unduly incredible, which is probably what makes Good Ol’ Freda all the more impressive. Freda Kelly was the band’s secretary from before their rise to fame through their dissolution, and, yes, she has some stories to tell. And if Landon’s review is to be believed, it’s really the way she tells them that will make us all fall in love with her. The trailer is charming enough to back that claim up, so check it out for yourself:

read more...

Good Ol Freda

Freda Kelly is one of the unsung chapters of Beatles history. One of few surviving members of the band’s inner circle, Kelly became the Beatles secretary, head of the fan club, and Brian Epstein’s personal assistant shortly after seeing them live in Liverpool in 1961. As a fan who became in charge of the fan club, Kelly, more so than anybody attached to the Beatles, could speak authoritatively about the band as well as the nature of Beatlemania. Ryan White’s documentary Good Ol’ Freda is a wonderful testament by and character study of a woman who had been, up until now, one of the quietest members of the Beatles community. It’s a piece of Beatles history we didn’t know we were missing. I had the pleasure of speaking with Kelly a few days after the film’s premiere at SXSW, and here’s what she had to share about her history with the most popular band of all time.

read more...

Good Ol Freda

Good Ol’ Freda, an engrossing character study of Freda Kelly – the Beatles’ secretary, head of the fan club, and living time capsule of Beatlemania – is only Ryan White’s second feature documentary, but he’s already making a name for himself in the world of non-fiction. His first film, Pelada, premiered at SXSW in 2010, and he’s already hard at work on his third film, one that focuses on the lawsuit challenging California’s controversial Proposition 8 making its way to the Supreme Court. During SXSW, I sat down to talk with White and producer Kathy McCabe about the difficulties and surprises of documentary filmmaking, especially when it comes to the Beatles.

read more...

Pelada

On Sunday I sat down with the directors and subjects of the SXSW in-competition documentary Pelada, about one couple’s journey around the world examining the regional differences and similarities in soccer pickup games across the globe.

read more...

Pelada

Leave it to non-fiction filmmaking to engross me in the story of a sports-related subject I previously knew and cared little about. That’s exactly what the soccer documentary Pelada does, immersing me in a fascinating human story and being a damned impressive sports documentary at the same time.

read more...
Some movie websites serve the consumer. Some serve the industry. At Film School Rejects, we serve at the pleasure of the connoisseur. We provide the best reviews, interviews and features to millions of dedicated movie fans who know what they love and love what they know. Because we, like you, simply love the art of the moving picture.
Comic-Con 2014
Summer Box Office Prediction Challenge
Got a Tip? Send it here:
editors@filmschoolrejects.com
Publisher:
Neil Miller
Managing Editor:
Scott Beggs
Associate Editors:
Rob Hunter
Kate Erbland
Christopher Campbell
All Rights Reserved © 2006-2014 Reject Media, LLC | Privacy Policy | Design & Development by Face3