DIFF 2013 Film Review: Good Ol’ Freda

Freda Kelly picHere we go again. Another Beatles documentary. No, wait. This is actually about the warm, good-natured woman that ran their fan club Freda Kelly. To director Ryan White’s credit this is really quite an interesting concept. Covering history from an angle not really considered important documentary material before fan clubs are a big deal in the entertainment world. And Freda displays a large warm personality that is down to earth.

The Beatles were together for 10 years and Freda was there every step of the way. Having started out as a fan of the band before they made it big, she had no idea just how entrenched with this group her life would become. She witnessed it all and has finally consented to tell her story and how she would sometimes do things like mail clippings of the guys hair to fans. Because she is such a beloved part of the groups history White made this doc with the permission of the Beatles and was also given permission to use a few original songs in the film.

The history of the band’s beginning is detailed rather nicely through employed past footage.While the doc and Ms. Freda are interesting to watch we can’t help but think we’re probably missing out on a lot…that there’s somehow more stories that lie out of reach here.  We get to hang out with Freda as she opens boxes of memorabilia and strolls down memory lane and as memories surface that’s when the past footage is rolled out. There’s no script and no structure so by the end we’re left wanting more. Not necessarily more of the Beatles mind you…but more of Freda and that treasure trove of history that’s buried within her memory banks.

No rating, 86 minutes
Director: Ryan White
Producers: Jeffrey Blitz, Ryan White, Kathy McCabe, Jessica Lawson
Director of photography: Austin Hargrave
Music:  Paul Koch
Editor: Helen Kearns
Production companies: Tripod Media

GOOD OL’ FREDA can be seen at the 2013 Dallas International Film Festival happening now through April 14. For more info go to www.dallasfilm.org

All Together Now: A Documentary Film

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