May 15, 1971

On this day in 1971, two short films by John Lennon (with directing help from his partner, Yoko Ono) were shown at the Cannes Film Festival in France.

In the 18-minute Apotheosis you see the camera pan up the bodies of Lennon and Ono, while they are huddled together underneath a large cloak. The camera follows on up into the sky above a village, higher and higher across snow-covered fields (the camera was mounted in a hot-air balloon, which we never see- though we hear the device that heats the air) and then up into the clouds; the screen becomes completely white for several minutes, and finally, the camera rises out into the sunny skyscraper above the clouds.

Fly is much shorter, running a total of 2 minutes and 27 seconds. It follows a fly as it walks on the toes and body of a nude female. Shot in extreme closeup (and accompanied by Ono’s irritating “song”), the film was meant to celebrate the human body.


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