In 1964 Welsh photographer David Hurn was asked by his friend Dick Lester, who was directing the first Beatles film A Hard Day’s Night, to photograph the film, “not for press, but more from a sociological point of view”. Over roughly seven weeks, Hurn witnessed the complete chaos that surrounded the Beatles, then at the apex of their fame. The film follows the band as they sprint from screaming fans, coming up with ever more ingenious ways of escaping the trappings and attention that comes with their fame. Much of it was shot on a train between London and the West Country. As if mirroring the film’s story, fans and press photographers would crash the set daily. Pictured here, a fan recognises Paul.

Life, as it unfolds in front of the camera, is full of so much complexity, wonder, and surprise that I find it unnecessary to create new realities. There is more pleasure, for me, in things as they are

David Hurn
© David Hurn | Magnum Photos

A self-taught photographer, David Hurn (b.1934) began his career in 1955 as an assistant at the Reflex Agency. He gained his early reputation through his reportage of the 1956 Hungarian revolution and became a full member of Magnum Photos in 1967. In 1973 he set up the influential School of Documentary Photography in Newport, Wales and remained director until 1989.

His work is held in major collections including British Council, London; ICP, New York, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Bibliothèque nationale de France and National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth, amongst others.

David Hurn continues to live and work from his home in Tintern, Wales.

© David Hurn | Magnum Photos

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