Martin Scorsese’s Documentary LIVING IN THE MATERIAL WORD: GEORGE HARRISON Being Shopped Around at Cannes

     May 15, 2010


Beatle mania is far from over. With the recent John Lennon biopic Nowhere Boy released last year, George Harrison was next in line. Oscar winning director Martin Scorsese pulled double duty, filming both Living in the Material World: George Harrison and Shutter Island at the same time. Now, according to Variety, Scorsese and George’s widow Olivia Harrison are helping promote the film as Exclusive, which holds worldwide distribution rights, is shopping the film at Cannes.

Scorsese has delved into rock docs in the past, and this particular one struck a personal chord with the director as he relates to the late George Harrison. Harrison gave Scorsese exclusive access to the musician’s materials, some of which have never been seen by the public. For more on the documentary, and Scorsese’s own rock ‘n’ roll history, hit the jump.

martin-scorseseThe director related to the musician’s spiritual journey, which he found fascinating, and the search for a balance between the spiritual and the physical helped lead to the title of the doc.

“I grew up a Roman Catholic and wanted to become a priest, so it is a subject matter that has never left me,” Scorsese told Variety. “The more you’re in the material world, the more the search for serenity.”

The film will reveal notes, cassette tapes, and photos, including never released footage of the guitarist’s life, covering his days with the Beatles to his death in 2001. Additionally, we will hear from some of the songwriter’s closest friends, including Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Eric Clapton, Eric Idle, Tom Petty, Yoko Ono, and Phil Spector.

Scorsese has covered a number of rock icons in the past, including the Band (1978’s The Last Waltz), Bob Dylan (2005’s No Direction Home: Bob Dylan), and the Rolling Stones (2008’s Shine a Light). In fact, Scorsese filmed No Direction Home at the same time as The Aviator, and it appears he might have found a perfect mix in filming live action simultaneously with a non-fiction work.

“In a complicated way, it frees me from the constrictions of a feature, Scorsese told Variety. “I have a narrative freedom.”

The film is currently in the editing bay with David Tedeschi, who also worked on No Direction Home and Shine a Light. Living in the Material World is a joint production between Scorsese’s Sikelia Productions, Olivia Harrison’s Grove Street Productions, and Exclusive’s Spitfire Pictures. Here is to hoping the sun shines brightly on the picture.

George Harrison

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