John Lennon film gets a regional premiere at FACT
21 November 2007
The screening was followed by an exclusive Q&A with director and writer Andrew Piddington. The Killing of John Lennon, is a chilling insight into the mind of Chapman, who murdered the former Beatle outside the Dakota Building in New York in 1980. "I was a nobody until I killed the biggest somebody on earth." Mark Chapman's words do not only provide the key to director Piddington's non-fiction drama; they are, in fact, its lynchpin.
In the opening titles we are told that all of Mark Chapman's words in the movie are his own, which gives us a clear insight into the director's meticulous approach to his subject matter. With an outstanding performance from Jonas Ball, who is hardly off screen, the film presents the story of Lennon's killer in a way that is balanced and emotionally detached - yet never loses the compelling grip of drama as it unfolds towards its inevitable conclusion.
"For some reason, John Lennon's death inflames people more than others," explains Piddington, "There is a sensitivity around his killing that forbids any postmodern approach to his death, any examination of the phenomena of stalking, or hero worship which turns to hatred, or anything that involves America's legion of disenfranchised. If Lennon is an icon, so is JFK, Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Bobby Kennedy. All achieved greater things than Lennon and all died violent deaths from lone gunmen, yet it is Lennon one must be sacred about."