George Harrison famously titled his 1973 album Living in the Material World, and as the follow up to his All Things Must Pass, the former Beatle chronicled his ongoing exploration to define himself on both the physical and spiritual plains. But now that title (also a song on the album) takes on a new resonance as the name selected for Martin Scorsese’s much-anticipated documentary on the life of Harrison. Living in the Material World has been confirmed for release this autumn, and it will arrive on television, DVD, Blu-Ray and with a special bonus CD of unreleased Harrison material in one edition. (There’s no word in the official press release of the long-rumored Harrison box set or an official soundtrack album.)
For American audiences, the first glimpse of Living in the Material World will be on October 5 and 6, when the film is shown in two parts on HBO. One week later, on October 10, Lionsgate Home Entertainment will distribute the film in the U.K. in three different formats: DVD, Blu-Ray/DVD Combo Pack (or “Double Play”) and finally, a deluxe DVD/Blu-Ray edition containing an exclusive CD of previously unreleased songs and a book of photography. Also coinciding with the film’s release is Abrams’ book collection of the same title by Olivia Harrison, an archive of photographs, diaries, letters and memorabilia spanning her husband’s entire life.
Hit the jump for the rest of the details on Living in the Material World!
Can't say what I'm doing here/But I hope to see much clearer/After living in the material world…
The documentary produced by Grove Street, Spitfire Pictures and Sikelia promises to offer fans of Harrison a much clearer understanding of this multi-faceted artist, set to a score of both familiar and unknown work from his catalogue. Living in the Material World follows director Scorsese’s 3+ hour Bob Dylan film No Direction Home and like that picture, it features a remarkable array of interviewees. Eric Clapton, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, George Martin, Paul McCartney, Yoko Ono, Tom Petty, Phil Spector, Ringo Starr and Jackie Stewart will all be featured. In the press release, Scorsese commented, “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 added, "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."
We’re working to obtain the details about that bonus CD, as well as about the price point of the deluxe edition, and whether U.S. releases are in the cards. (They undoubtedly are!) We’ll post all that and more here, so watch this space! In the meantime, enjoy that stunning movie poster (we've included it at full size because it's such a striking image!) and check back soon!