The Beatles’ psychedelic classic “I Am The Walrus” features prominently in the trailer for Alejandro Iñárritu’s forthcoming film Bardo. You can check the trailer out below.
Bardo releases theatrically on November 4, and will arrive on streaming services from December 16.
Alejandro Iñarritu – whose credits also include Birdman, Babel and 21 Grams – traipsed around the Canadian wilderness to his previous movie, The Revenant, which won three Oscars, and became immortalized as the proverbial Hardest Movie to Make. However, the director feels differently.
“‘The Revenant’ is nothing compared to this,” said Iñarritu as he settled into an interview at the Telluride Film Festival, where Bardo made its North American premiere. “I am not joking. I think [Bardo] is the most complicated film I have done.”
The arguments to back that up include the incredible range of special effects that Iñarritu injects into a wild, surrealist (and often quite funny) character study steeped in dreamlike twists that sneak in and out of the story of a respected documentarian returning home to Mexico City. “It’s very difficult to make a film that has no gravitational center,” he said.
The production of Bardo found Iñarritu returning to Mexico for the first time since his 2000 breakout Amores Perros, filtering his own experiences into a broader interrogation of Latin American identity. Proud of his heritage in America but uneasy with it when he returns home, Iñarritu’s onscreen alter ego taps into a phenomenon unique to the immigrant experience.
“I think the ones who feel displaced will understand it,” Iñarritu said. “Distance and time can make you feel that way. Your roots and your identity start to get dissolved. It’s a feeling that’s almost impossible to grasp if you haven’t been through it.”
“Technically and cinematically, this film is something I feel really proud of,” he added. “Navigating through this liquidity of time and space is very difficult to do with images.”
The Beatles recorded “I Am The Walrus” for their 1967 television film Magical Mystery Tour. Written by John Lennon and credited to Lennon–McCartney, it was released as the B-side to the single “Hello, Goodbye” and on the Magical Mystery Tour EP and album. In the film, the song underscores a segment in which the band mime to the recording at a deserted airfield.
Lennon wrote the song to confound listeners who had been affording serious scholarly interpretations of the Beatles’ lyrics. Producer George Martin arranged and added orchestral accompaniment that included violins, cellos, horns, and clarinet. The Mike Sammes Singers, a 16-voice choir of professional studio vocalists, also joined the recording, variously singing nonsense lines and shrill whooping noises.
Since the “Hello, Goodbye” single and the Magical Mystery Tour EP both reached the top two slots on the British singles chart in December, “I Am The Walrus” holds the distinction of reaching numbers one and two simultaneously.