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Nov. 29 is an ominous date for even half-hearted Beatles fans—it marks the date of George Harrison’s death nine years ago. Paul McCartney, the recipient of the Library of Congress’ Gershwin Prize this year, is currently the subject of a five-part weekly film series at the institution. But the series’ curators seem to be cognizant of the day’s solemnity, and won’t be screening, oh, the comedic and quirky A Hard Day’s Night or Help! Instead they’ll feature Let It Be, the 80-minute documentary that captured the group’s fractious-if-fruitful studio session from January 1969, which produced the band’s final album (Abbey Roadwas recorded later but released earlier). With the camera granting unfettered access, the four stars undeniably shine, but their moments of careful self-critique often frustratingly fade into senseless bickering. What else to do then, on a sunny London day, but hold a rooftop jam session? Even on film, the Beatles knew how to come together to generate a worthy final chapter of lore.
LET IT BE SCREENS AT 7 P.M. AT THE LIBRARY OF CONGRESS’ MADISON BUILDING, 101 INDEPENDENCE AVE. SE. FREE. (202) 707-5502.