XIXAX Film Forum

The Director's Chair => Martin Scorsese => Topic started by: MacGuffin on September 26, 2007, 09:40:35 PM

Title: Living in the Material World: George Harrison
Post by: MacGuffin on September 26, 2007, 09:40:35 PM
Scorsese to direct Harrison film
Docu to cover artist's music, movie careers
Source: Variety
Martin Scorsese has committed to direct an untitled documentary about the life of George Harrison.

Scorsese will produce with Harrison's widow Olivia and Nigel Sinclair in a co-production between Scorsese's Sikelia Prods., Harrison's Grove Street Prods., and Sinclair's Spitfire Pictures.

The docu is being constructed as a theatrical release, and the Harrison family will supply materials from its extensive archive. Interviews and early production will begin later this year, and the film will take several years to complete.

Pic will cover Harrison's Beatles career and later years that included a successful solo music career as well as a foray as a movie mogul when he backed Handmade Films and made pics such as "Monty Python's Life of Brian" and "Time Bandits." Scorsese, who explored themes of faith in "Kundun" and "The Last Temptation of Christ," will also focus closely on the Eastern spiritual pursuits that were central to Harrison's life.

The docu will be edited by David Tedeschi, who served the same role on the Scorsese-directed Rolling Stones film "Shine A Light." Tedeschi was also editor on the Scorsese-directed "No Direction Home: Bob Dylan."

Spitfire's Sinclair was a producer on the Dylan film with Scorsese, and he just teamed with Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend as a producer on "Amazing Journey: The Story of the Who," which will be released on DVD by Universal on Nov. 5.

Sikelia's Margaret Bodde will be exec producer of the Harrison film.

"George Harrison's music and his search for spiritual meaning is a story that still resonates today and I'm looking forward to delving deeper," Scorsese said.

It is expected that Harrison's surviving Beatles bandmates Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr will participate, as well as the Beatles' Apple Records, which counts Olivia Harrison as a partner.

Harrison met her husband in 1974 and they were together until he died of lung cancer at age 58 in 2001. The two of them famously fought off and subdued an attacker who broke into the Harrison home and stabbed the guitarist several times in 1999. She was also the catalyst for the tribute show "The Concert for George," and organized a reissue of "The Concert for Bangladesh," which Harrison put together in 1971.

"It would have given George great joy to know that Martin Scorsese has agreed to tell his story," she said.
Title: Re: Living in the Material World: George Harrison
Post by: Heinsbergen on September 27, 2007, 05:07:22 AM
i wonder why marty doesn't work with thelma schoonmaker on his music films. anyway i love his love for music.
Title: Re: Living in the Material World: George Harrison
Post by: mogwai on September 27, 2007, 05:29:48 AM
martin scorsese: friend of the reclusives or ex reclusives or... ah hell with it!
Title: Re: Living in the Material World: George Harrison
Post by: Pubrick on September 27, 2007, 07:32:16 AM
scorsese: determined to not make another scorsese film (since 1999).
Title: Re: Living in the Material World: George Harrison
Post by: MacGuffin on September 27, 2007, 11:41:38 AM
i wonder why marty doesn't work with thelma schoonmaker on his music films.

I think this is why:

the film will take several years to complete.

While Tedeschi was doing No Direction Home, Marty was able to have Schoonmaker with him on Aviator and Departed.
Title: Re: Living in the Material World: George Harrison
Post by: The Sheriff on October 02, 2007, 04:33:33 AM
Title: Re: Living in the Material World: George Harrison
Post by: MacGuffin on May 16, 2010, 10:01:30 AM
Scorsese elaborates on George Harrison doc
Source: The Hollywood Reporter
CANNES -- Martin Scorsese swept into the Cap d'Antibes Beach Hotel down the coast from Cannes on Saturday afternoon with George Harrison's widow, Olivia. The two have been collaborating on a documentary about the famous songwriter for the past three years and are finally nearing the end of a long and winding road.

Titled "Living in the Material World: George Harrison," the documentary will take on the whole of the Beatles guitarist's life before, during and after his time in the world's most popular and successful band. Producer Nigel Sinclair of Exclusive Media Group, home of the Spitfire Pictures label that will release the doc, was also on hand to provide background and perspective on the forthcoming project.

"His music is very important to me," Scorsese said of Harrison. "So I was interested in the journey that he took as an artist. The film is an exploration. We don't know. We're just feeling our way through."

Among other things, Scorsese says he related to Harrison's quest for "spirituality," something the filmmaker has explored his whole life, and especially in movies from "Mean Streets" to "Kundun."

"That subject matter has never left me," says Scorsese. "The more you're in the material world, the more there is a tendency for a search for serenity and a need to not be distracted by physical elements that are around you."

"He always said he gave his nervous system for the Beatles," Olivia chimes in.
"I'm an outsider on this," says Scorsese, taking on the project from the perspective of a curious fan. He tells the story of one morning getting ready for school at NYU on the Lower East Side in the early '60s, when an AM radio DJ announced that he was going to play the very first stateside single of the Beatles. Scorsese says he heard the song and felt it was the first time U.K. pop could really hold up to American pop music.

Scorsese met Harrison several times, first when he, Jack Nicholson and Robbie Robertson knocked on his door in a frantic moment during the filming of "The Last Waltz" in the late '70s, and then again in the early '90s.

Olivia finally initiated the current project several years ago because she says she had been approached by numerous production companies, including the BBC, looking to make a documentary about Harrison from the moment he died in 2001. She resisted at first because Harrison had always wanted to do his own documentary using his own archive of videos.

Eventually, she realized it "was something that needed to be done," and was pointed to Sinclair, who had produced the Bob Dylan documentary "No Direction Home" that Scorsese directed. But still, it was a traumatic experience for her to dig back through all of that history.

"This is a deeply personal journey for me, it's been excruciating," she says. "I've been archiving for five years -- 35 years, really. Throwing cassettes and letters in drawers, little things and pieces of paper that you find that say, 'Goats on my roof.' You think, What does that mean?"

She says that during the research period, Scorsese would ask for something from 1945, she would dig something up, and then get lost in old letters, drawings, ideas and reveries. Or she'd come across a lost cassette from 1966 with music she had never heard.

"So that's been wonderful, but emotional, too," Olivia says. "But I feel really safe, I feel protected. Marty had a connection with George, and they spent time together. And he's passionate about film and music as George was passionate about music and film."

"This is undertaken, not casually," Scorsese says. "It's a great deal of reticence and thinking."

And juggling, since the director was working on it as he developed and shot "Shutter Island." His editor on the Dylan doc, David Tedeschi, has been working on the Harrison piece as well, and would forge ahead when Scorsese was indisposed on the fiction film. Scorsese notes that their work on the Dylan film stretched from "The Aviator" through to "The Departed."

" 'Shutter Island' took a great deal out of me," Scorsese says. "This was a form of interest and a really good sense of ignorance -- not knowing what you're getting into. I know the level is deep, and I know at some point there's going to be conflicts between the projects. But this is a labor of love, it's not something that has that kind of a deadline."

So Scorsese spent weekends and margins looking at footage and cuts of the Harrison work, and doing research. "Even though it's complex and it's hard to do, in a very complicated way it frees me from the strictures of the feature and makes me think -- I hope -- a little more clearly about the feature," Scorsese says of the process. "Because there's something in these films that had a narrative freedom to them, and it's something that the features may be going this way, and the nonfiction films are going this way, and somehow you hope they interweave."

But at this point, Scorsese says that they are moving toward a 2011 release date and nearly have finished a final cut of the second of three parts of the movie.

Olivia and Scorsese acknowledge that their film will feature never-before-seen footage and personal recordings of Harrison's, as he saved everything and left a ton of material. Scorsese says that all of that personal music led the way to the nonchronological exploration they wanted to take.

"Ultimately, we're trying to have the development of his own music tell the story, if we can," he says. "And the images that he shot, that [Olivia] shot, a lot of this is telling the story. There are some famous bits and some very interesting new material."

Olivia adds: "I think it's not only about George Harrison, but about how a person moves through life and deals with his own life. And it was a pretty intense life for a young person."

In addition to his achievements as a master filmmaker and preservationist, Scorsese has now made a number of films -- "Shine a Light," "Last Waltz," "No Direction Home," "The Blues" (he was even an editor on the "Woodstock" concert film) -- that he is personally building a library of the history of rock.

"We certainly haven't done it intentionally," Scorsese says. "We never really intended to make a chronicle of rock music. But the music inspires so much of what I do with my fiction films that they both seem to be blending now. They seem to be interweaving."
Title: Re: Living in the Material World: George Harrison
Post by: Stefen on May 16, 2010, 04:28:19 PM
lol@that title.
Title: Re: Living in the Material World: George Harrison
Post by: Pubrick on May 16, 2010, 06:59:29 PM
lol@that title.

haha, seriously all those years of research and that's the best he can come up with?

he must not be kidding when he says that music and film are starting to interweave for him..

he must've been listening to Madonna when he came up with this.
Title: Re: Living in the Material World: George Harrison
Post by: polkablues on May 16, 2010, 07:08:54 PM
They should have gone with "Got My Mind Set On You: George Harrison".
Title: Re: Living in the Material World: George Harrison
Post by: Pozer on May 16, 2010, 09:22:58 PM
The Dark Horse: George Harrison
Title: Re: Living in the Material World: George Harrison
Post by: MacGuffin on June 13, 2011, 05:01:42 PM
George Harrison’s Widow Says Doc By Martin Scorsese On Beatles Guitarist Will Premiere This Year
Source: Playlist

It’s been a long time coming since it was first announced way back in 2007 but it now looks like Martin Scorsese‘s documentary on famed Beatles guitarist George Harrison is set to premiere later this year—or so says Harrison’s widow, Olivia. “I assume we’re going to announce it sometime soon, the actual [premiere] date, but it will be this year,” Harrison revealed at the 5th anniversary of the Beatles-inspired Cirque du Soleil show “Love” [via LAT]. “I just came from New York and Monday I’m going to see it again. We’re real excited about it. Marty is such a great storyteller, and of course he always finds the story that you don’t expect.” Much of the story will presumably stem from Scorsese’s access to the Harrison estate which opened up its archives to the filmmaker and his crew, with Olivia Harrison having reportedly “spent countless hours poring through her husband’s notes, cassette tapes and photos.” Interviews with musical figures such as Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Eric Clapton, Eric Idle, Tom Petty, Yoko Ono and Phil Spector are all expected to be included. “George Harrison’s music and his search for spiritual meaning is a story that still resonates today and I’m looking forward to delving deeper,” Scorsese proclaimed at the announcement of the project, which’ll span from the guitarist’s time with the Beatles to his death in 2001. The doc’s reported focus on Harrison’s spiritual side, meanwhile, was further affirmed by the unveiling of a title: “Living in the Material World: George Harrison.” This is also the title of Harrison’s 1973 album, a record which was noted for its philosophical and religious bent, and one that at the the time was considered a bit of disappointment following All Things Must Pass, though it has since risen in stature. But as usual, Scorsese never stops, and this is just one of a handful of projects he’s got going. The director is busy getting his next feature film, the 3D “Hugo Cabret” finished up and is also working with Kenneth Lonergan on an edit of his long-gestating “Margaret” that will hopefully see some kind of theatrical release by the end of the year.
Title: Re: Living in the Material World: George Harrison
Post by: MacGuffin on July 13, 2011, 04:35:40 PM
HBO Sets Martin Scorsese’s Doc ‘George Harrison: Living in the Material World’ For October Premiere
Source: Playlist

It was way back in September 2007 that we first heard news of Martin Scorsese’s planned George Harrison documentary “George Harrison: Living in the Material World.” Since then he’s directed a documentary for another renowned music act with The Rolling Stones’ “Shine a Light,” and even found time to do “Shutter Island,” the upcoming “Hugo,” and the pilot episode of “Boardwalk Empire” (which is he also producing). Back in early June George’s widow Olivia Harrison, assured that the doc would premiere later this year. Well it looks its rolling out according to plan.

HBO has just announced they have acquired the North American TV rights for Scorsese’s documentary, and have set the much anticipated doc to be released in two parts on the nights of October 5th and 6th. Olivia Harrison adds to the excitement she previously displayed over Scorsese’s involvement in the project by stating in a press release from HBO, “I always hoped HBO would be our North American partners because of their respect for artistry. I am doubly happy to be working with their excellent team.”

As we previously reported, there will be interviews with the likes of Paul McCartney, Tom Petty, and Yoko Ono, but HBO also adds that Terry Gilliam will be making an appearance. The sort of things that Scorsese could pull out of Gilliam alone is enough to get us to watch. Abram’s Books is also set to publish a memorabilia coffee table book to coincide with the release of the documentary, which will include photographs, letters, and diaries from George.

This is certainly Scorsese’s territory, and we have to agree with Olivia Harrison that there isn’t a much better home on television for this outside of HBO. While “Shine a Light” and “No Direction Home: Bob Dylan,” were both enjoyable docs, the thought of Scorsese dissecting the life of someone like Harrison, whose not only played in arguably the world’s most widely recognized music act, but enjoyed a successful solo career, has us excited and split over two nights, it seems to be a much more epic co than we were expecting. With names like Eric Clapton, Tom Petty, and Phil Spector also set to weigh in, we can only imagine what sort of stories are waiting to be told. At the very least, it’ll serve as an opportunity to catch Scorsese at his low key best before the 3D extravaganza that is “Hugo.”
Title: Re: Living in the Material World: George Harrison
Post by: MacGuffin on August 22, 2011, 11:55:30 PM
Trailer here. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xnx87LIDO9k)
Title: Re: Living in the Material World: George Harrison
Post by: Neil on August 23, 2011, 12:48:32 PM
"he was cocky, had a great haircut"

That's a title.
Title: Re: Living in the Material World: George Harrison
Post by: mogwai on October 15, 2011, 01:59:42 PM
Thought it was great even though it jumped quite "fast" through the events of his life and career. Mind you, this is a very long doc and you can definitely see and feel a Scorsese vibe through it. Even though he didn't shoot the archive footage he definitely edited them together like he edits and directs his own movies. Best moment is Ringo Starr tearing up at the end.
Title: Re: Living in the Material World: George Harrison
Post by: SiliasRuby on October 18, 2011, 02:34:19 PM
Just a extremely beautiful documentary. I was crying with Ringo by the end. Really affected me...
Title: Re: Living in the Material World: George Harrison
Post by: Alexandro on August 17, 2012, 12:29:32 AM
I agree with the last two posts here...This film just took me by surprise in how good and moving it actually is. Very early on I felt it was special but as you guys say, by the end it was hard not to feel like crying along with Ringo. I knew quite a lot about the events narrated here, but Scorsese manages to turn a known story into a personal spiritual odyssey not unlike Last Temptation. He just seems completely in synchrony with his subject. To me this is as good as No Direction Home, if not better just because of the shameless amount of honest sentiment it carries.