Wham! If You Were There Documentary First Screening

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When George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley as Wham! went to China in 1985, director Lindsay Anderson was charged with the documentary for this historic event.

For the first time, Anderson’s documentary of Wham! in China, If You Were There, will be screened for the public on May 25 and May 31, 2024. Unfortunately, tickets have already sold out.

The 79-minute documentary is described as the following:

In 1985, at the height of their success, WHAM! were invited to be the first western pop group to tour Communist China since the Cultural Revolution. Accepting the offer, the duo made an unlikely approach to Anderson, asking him to direct a documentary record of the tour. However, the collaboration ended awkwardly when his cut of the film was rejected by the band. The film was subsequently re-edited to incorporate more concert footage and released as WHAM! In China: Foreign Skies. Anderson’s cut, titled If You Were There… has never before been screened publicly, making this a not-to-be-missed, potentially once-only opportunity to see it.

Thanks to Andrew Ridgeley, and to Chris Organ and David Austin of George Michael Entertainment for their co-operation in connection with this screening.

According to The Guardian:

The exact sequence of events leading to Anderson’s dismissal are not easy to discern from his papers. Napier-Bell wrote that the first cut of the film was “achingly boring” and that Michael thought a second version appeared to be “scornful” of Wham!.

“It should have been possible for Lindsay – or any director with an ounce of compromise in him – to have adjusted it to what Wham! needed as a promo tool,” says Napier-Bell today. “But he obviously felt it beneath him to compromise with two upstart kids. He was always a difficult old bugger, full of guilt at his own public school education, but suffering from the superiority it had given him.”

Dead dogs, capitalist critique and only four songs: when Wham! squashed Lindsay Anderson’s China film

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About Melanie

Melanie is the co-founder of Yours Only George and has been the webmaster of the site since 1997. Melanie has been a George Michael and Wham! fan since "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go" in 1984.

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