HBO has acquired the North American TV rights to George Harrison: Living in the Material World, as Martin Scorsese once again dips into the world of music.
The documentary traces the late Beatles' life from his musical beginnings in Liverpool through his work as a musician, a seeker, a philanthropist and a filmmaker, weaving together interviews with Harrison and his closest friends, performances, home movies and photographs. Much of the film, which will premiere exclusively on HBO on Oct. 5 and 6, has never been seen or heard before.
The film was produced by Scorsese (through his Sikelia Productions banner), Olivia Harrison (via her Grove Street Pictures banner) and Nigel Sinclair (from Exclusive's documentary label, Spitfire Pictures). Margaret Bodde served as executive producer on the film, which was edited by David Tedeschi, who previously worked with Scorsese, Bodde and Sinclair on No Direction Home: Bob Dylan. and with Scorsese and Bodde on Public Speaking. Tedeschi also edited Scorsese's Rolling Stones' concert film Shine a Light.
The documentary includes interviews with Eric Clapton, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, George Martin, Paul McCartney, Yoko Ono, Tom Petty, Phil Spector, Ringo Starr and Jackie Stewart.
"When Martin Scorsese brings a project to HBO, we all know it is going to be very special, and he has added to that body of work with this monumental film on George Harrison," said Michael Lombardo, president, HBO Programming, in a statement. "From rock‘n'roll icon to moviemaker, to spiritual seeker and humanitarian, George Harrison was a true renaissance man. This amazing film will illuminate every aspect of Harrison's remarkable, multifaceted life."
"Like so many millions of people, I first came to know George through the music, which was the soundtrack of our world," said Scorsese, who also lists The Last Waltz under his musical film credits. "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 that all 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," Scorses continued. " 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."
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