Saturday, October 8, 2011


Martin Scorsese's George Harrison documentary, Living In The Material World, has been in the making for a long time. It was worth the wait.  The first half seemed like watching The Beatles Anthology documentary from a George-centric view, but there were some great scenes.  I'd never seen the footage of an older, wiser George in the '70s, watching video of The Beatles performing.  Also, there was a great story of John Lennon and George Harrison visiting Stu Sutcliffe's girlfriend Astrid (who was interviewed for the special) after Stu died.  She took some photos of them in the area where Stu did his paintings. I'd never seen those photos before, they were incredible.  The second half covered the Beatles breakup and the years after.  There was a lot about All Things Must Pass, and from there it concentrated more on his relationships with Monty Python's troupe, his friendship with Ravi Shankar, and his life at home.  Which is fine, I didn't like many of his albums between All Things Must Pass and Cloud 9. I wish the doc  talked more about Cloud 9, which was the album that introduced him as a solo artist to a younger generation (myself included).  I would have loved to see Jeff Lynne talk more about the making of that album... and also George's final record, Brainwashed.

I wish there was more Traveling Wilburys footage - pretty much everything here is the same footage included on the DVD that comes with the recent Traveling Wilburys collection that compiled both of their albums. And speaking of them, it would have been great if they got Bob Dylan in this doc (especially since Scorsese did a wonderful Dylan doc, No Direction Home).

But I really loved watching it. The interviews with Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr were great.  It was cool to see Tom Petty talking about him, and the interviews with Olivia Harrison, Dhani Harrison, Eric Clapton added a lot to the picture of George.

If you missed it, I think it comes out on DVD (with extra footage) in six months, and it is still airing on HBO - if you want to see it, check out and search for George Harrison.

No comments: