Martin Scorsese's documentary George Harrison: Living In The Material World will be screened in North America on 5 and 6 October 2011, and will be released in the UK on DVD and Blu-ray on 10 October.
The film will be accompanied by a book of the same name by George Harrison's widow Olivia. Due to be published by Abrams Books in September, it will contain photographs, letters, diary entries and memorabilia that tells the story of his life.
Scorsese's film features interviews with Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, George Martin, Yoko Ono, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle and Phil Spector among others. Much of the footage is rare or previously unseen, and includes previously unreleased shots of The Beatles.
George was making spiritually awake music - we all heard and felt it - and I think that was the reason that he came to occupy a very special place in our lives. So when I was offered the chance to make this picture, I jumped at it. Spending time with Olivia, interviewing so many of George's closest friends, reviewing all that footage, some of it never seen before, and listening to all of that magnificent music - it was a joy, and an experience I'll always treasure.
t will be shown by HBO in North America over two nights. The TV network describes Living In The Material World as "deeply moving and touches each viewer in unique and individual ways".
George Harrison died on 29 November 2001, and the documentary and book are part of a 10-year commemoration of his passing.
Here's the full press release:
New York — HBO has acquired the North American broadcast rights to Martin Scorsese's GEORGE HARRISON: LIVING IN THE MATERIAL WORLD, which will debut in two parts — on October 5 and October 6, 2011 — exclusively on HBO.
London — Lionsgate Home Entertainment UK announced that it will be releasing the film in the UK on 10th October 2011 in three editions – DVD, Blu-ray and DVD Double play (DVD/ BD combi pack), and a beautifully packaged DVD / Blu-Ray Deluxe Edition, which includes an exclusive CD of previously unheard tracks from George Harrison, and a book of photography to accompany the film.
GEORGE HARRISON: LIVING IN THE MATERIAL WORLD focuses the imaginative and inspired eye of one of cinema's most pre-eminent filmmakers on one of the world's most influential men. The film takes viewers on the musical and spiritual voyage that was George Harrison's life, much of it told in his own words. The result is deeply moving and touches each viewer in unique and individual ways.
Academy Award-winning director Martin Scorsese traces Harrison's life from his musical beginnings in Liverpool through his life as a musician, a seeker, a philanthropist, and filmmaker. Scorsese weaves together interviews with Harrison and his closest friends, performances, home movies, and photographs. Much of the material in the film has never been seen (or heard) before. The result is a rare glimpse into the mind and soul of one of the most talented artists of his generation and a profoundly intimate and affecting work of cinema.
The film includes interviews with Eric Clapton, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, George Martin, Paul McCartney, Yoko Ono, Tom Petty, Phil Spector, Ringo Starr and Jackie Stewart. They speak honestly and frankly about George's many talents and contradictions.
The film was produced by Scorsese (through his Sikelia Productions banner), Olivia Harrison (through her Grove Street Pictures banner) and Nigel Sinclair (through Exclusive's documentary label, Spitfire Pictures). Margaret Bodde served as the film's executive producer and the film was edited by David Tedeschi (who previously worked with Scorsese, Bodde and Sinclair on the Grammy Award-winning NO DIRECTION HOME: BOB DYLAN and with Scorsese and Bodde on the Rolling Stone concert film SHINE A LIGHT and PUBLIC SPEAKING). Scott Pascucci also served as an executive producer for Grove Street.
Scorsese comments, "Like so many millions of people, I first came to know George through the music, which was the soundtrack of our world. The Beatles' music, those beautifully lyrical guitar breaks and solos, those unforgettable songs of George's, like "I Me Mine" or "If I Needed Someone," and the images, in magazines, on album covers, the TV appearances, the newsreel footage, the Richard Lester movies; and then there was the world after the Beatles, when George and his music seemed to open up and flower. I will never forget the first time I heard All Things Must Pass, the overwhelming feeling of taking in all that glorious music for the first time. It was like walking into a cathedral. George was making spiritually awake music – we all heard and felt it – and I think that was the reason that he came to occupy a very special place in our lives. So when I was offered the chance to make this picture, I jumped at it. Spending time with Olivia, interviewing so many of George's closest friends, reviewing all that footage, some of it never seen before, and listening to all of that magnificent music – it was a joy, and an experience I'll always treasure."
Olivia Harrison notes, "Martin Scorsese's intuition towards George was evident the first time we met to discuss this project. He sensed what George was about: his music, his strong beliefs, his art, his place in the Beatles story, and his extraordinary life afterwards. Marty's wonderful film has found all of that and more."
"This film was an extraordinary journey for all involved and it has been a sheer pleasure working with Martin Scorsese and Olivia Harrison to bring the amazing story and legacy of George Harrison to life," adds Sinclair.
Additionally, in late September, Abrams Books will publish Olivia Harrison's George Harrison: Living in the Material World, a personal archive of photographs, letters, diaries, and memorabilia from George's life that reveals the arc of his life, from his guitar-obsessed boyhood in Liverpool, to the astonishment of the Beatles years, to his days as an independent musician and bohemian squire. The book release is intended to coincide with the release of Scorsese's film.