The first screening of a John Lennon documentary “Three Days in The Life” was cancelled yesterday due to threats of legal action by Yoko Ono.
“Three Days in the Life” uses film shot two months before the Beatles split in 1970, and Lennon is seen composing songs and rehearsing for a BBC Show where he performs “Instant Karma” for the first time.
Executive producer of the docufilm, Ray Thomas, bought the film footage in 2000 for a cool $1 million from Ono’s former husband Tony Cox, and Ono retains a copyright interest.
“Three Days In The Life” has been kept simple by the docufilm makers with no comentary or scripted actions added.
The free screening was set up at Berwick Academy private school in Maine because Ono refused to let the film be released, claiming a ‘breach of copyright.’ Thomas believes free screenings at US schools would be an alternative, however Ono’s lawyers have sent a written warning that she would sue if the screening took place.
Hap Ridgway, the school’s headmaster has said: “What we’ve learned since it all broke loose is that it’s a long-running dispute.”
They still plan to screen the film, saying the documentary provides a unique insight into Lennon’s creative process.