A riveting, disturbing glimpse into the mind of 25-year-old Mark David Chapman, better known as the man who shot and killed former Beatles singer John Lennon, during the days that led up to the deadly shooting outside The Dakota apartment building on Manhattan's Upper West Side. The films traces Chapman, fueled by intense admiration for Taxi Driver and Catcher in the Rye antiheroes Travis Bickle and Holden Caulfield, as he travels from his home in Hawaii to the mean streets of Manhattan. Once there, his delusions of grandeur seem to multiply rapidly. Consumed by loneliness and alienation, set off by even the most innocent questions from strangers, Chapman is clearly a ticking time bomb just waiting to explode. Newcomer Jonas Ball is a revelation as Chapman, delivering a chilling, unforgettable performance that includes dialogue lifted verbatim from the killer's own journal and public statements. The film itself was independently financed and shot over the course of three years (in some cases at actual locations frequented by Chapman), and it unflinchingly examines the celebrity-worship prevalent in society then and now. No run-of-the-mill thriller, The Killing of John Lennon is instead preoccupied with the inner workings of the young man's twisted mind, beginning in his troubled youth and into his later, fatal descent into madness and zealotry.
ANDREW PIDDINGTON began his career in 1980 at Central TV in the U.K. and has since worked for the BBC, Granada, and the Discovery Channel. He has directed two feature films (Shuttlecock, starring Alan Bates and Lambert Wilson, and The Fall, for which he was nominated Best Director at the British Independent Film Awards in 1999), written six screenplays, and written and directed more than 30 films for television. His biographical films include the critically acclaimed Weegee the Famous (nominated for the Grierson Award), D.H. Lawrence: Son and Lover, Under the Volcano (shot in Mexico alongside John Huston's film of the novel), Enemy of the State (on political artist George Grosz), and Midnight Angel (a poetic examination about the world of Stuart Sutcliffe and the Beatles in Hamburg that became the basis for the feature film Backbeat). He also contributed to the popular TV series Poirot.