Geoff Wonfor, Director of Beatles ‘Anthology,’ Dies at 73 – Billboard


Geoff Wonfor, a Grammy-winning British filmmaker who directed the Beatles’ acclaimed “Anthology” documentary sequence and labored on the Nineteen Eighties music program “The Tube” in addition to a number of initiatives with Paul McCartney, has died at age 73.


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His dying was confirmed Tuesday by daughter Sam Wonfor, who mentioned he died in Newcastle, the place he grew up. Extra particulars weren’t instantly obtainable.

Launched within the mid-Nineties, “The Beatles Anthology” was a certified, multimedia challenge that included an eight-part documentary, three double albums and a espresso desk guide. Wonfor spent 4 1/2 years on the movie, which mixed archival footage with new interviews with the then-three surviving Beatles (McCartney, Ringo Starr and George Harrison, who died in 2001). Wonfor’s challenges included weaving in commentary from John Lennon, who had been murdered in 1980.

“He was very vocal (in interviews),” Wonfor informed the Los Angeles Occasions in 1995. “I hit on the concept of listening to his interviews that had been executed … getting all of the pertinent questions and solutions to any yr we had been doing (within the documentary) after which pose the very same query to the opposite three Beatles, so it regarded just like the 4 of them had been answering the identical questions, which after all they had been.”

The Anthology helped renew worldwide obsession in a band that had hardly been forgotten and introduced Wonfor and co-director Bob Smeaton a Grammy in 1997 for finest lengthy type music video.

Wonfor additionally directed the McCartney movies “Within the World Tonight” and “Younger Boy” and a McCartney live performance video from the Cavern Membership, the Liverpool venue the place the Beatles performed lots of their early reveals. He was readily available, too, for a Beatles “reunion” from the Nineties — a video of “Actual Love,” a track left unfinished by Lennon that the remaining Beatles accomplished and recorded.

His different credit included “Band Support 20,” a documentary in regards to the anniversary re-recording of the British charity track “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” and “Sunday for Sammy,” a tribute to the late British actor Sammy Johnson.

Wonfor had been distinguished in British leisure because the Nineteen Eighties, when he directed a handful of episodes of “The Tube” and made a documentary about “Shanghai Shock,” a characteristic movie produced by Harrison and starring Madonna and Sean Penn. His work with Harrison would unexpectedly result in the most important endeavor of his profession.

“I used to be at my dad’s and it was Paul McCartney who rang up and he says, ‘Hey there, you’re alright’? And I say, ‘Yeah, I’m high-quality,’” Wonfor defined throughout a 2018 look on the Newcastle Movie Pageant.

“He mentioned, ‘I used to be speaking to a mate of yours final night time.’ I went, ‘Who the hell does he know that I do know?’ He says, ‘A bit man referred to as George Harrison.’ … And he says, ‘Anyway,’ and we talked lengthy into the night time and he says, ‘We wish to do a historical past of the Beatles and you’re that man.’”

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