24 December 2011

Film Review: George Harrison - Living In The Material World [dir. Martin Scorsese; 2011]

Although I was brought up in a Beatle-loving household, George Harrison was spoken about only as one of "the other two" members of the band. Scorsese's documentary of this complex, intriguing cultural figure filled in some of the gaps in my knowledge with considerable finesse. Using new interviews with key figures in Harrison's life (including Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and his widow, Olivia) as well as expertly chosen film and music clips, the movie charts his rise to stardom, his post-Beatle perfoming career, his work as a film producer and, needless to say, the development of his profound spirituality. Despite his tight focus on his subject, Scorsese allows the material to resonate with wider contextual issues, producing what is, in effect, a chronicle of an entire musical age as much as it is a story of one individual. And although it's almost 4 hours long, it zips by and leaves you wanting much, much more.

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