Martin Scorsese Exhibition – George Harrison Documentary

Scorsese Sign2The Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) at Federation Square in Melbourne, Australia is currently hosting a massive exhibit featuring the work of legendary film director Martin Scorsese.

Scorsese of course was responsible for George Harrison: Living in the Material World, the 2011 landmark documentary on the life and work of George

In the exhibition, which we visited last week, there’s a section on Scorsese’s love of music and the numerous documentaries he’s made over time including The Last Waltz (from 1978 detailing The Band’s last ever concert); No Direction Home: Bob Dylan (his 2005 documentary on Dylan’s early years); and Shine A Light (a 2008 concert film featuring the Rolling Stones live at the Beacon Theatre in New York).

Playing on a large screen within the exhibition are extracts from George Harrison: Living in the Material WorldScorsese Screen Shot2 Scorsese Scree Shot1

The Scorsese exhibition runs at ACMI until September 18. It’s well worth a look.Scorsese Sign (1)

George Harrison “Living in the Material World” – Winners Announced

We have two winners for the recent “Living in the Material World” competition.

The question was: “Olivia Harrison gave Martin Scorsese complete access to the Harrison family archives, including pictures, home videos, etc.  Martin Scorsese was on location filming another project when a security guard flew in from London with George Harrison’s diaries for him to view. In which city was he in, and which film was Scorsese making at the time?”

The correct answer:  He was in Boston, Massachusetts directing his 2010 film “Shutter Island“.

And our winners are Zachary Whitbeck from San Antonio, Texas (who will receive a copy of the “Living in the Material World” 2-disc DVD, and Ian Gray from Durham City, England (who gets a copy of the CD “Early Takes – Volume 1).  Congratulations!

Here’s what Zach and Ian will soon be opening in the post:

Thank you to everyone who entered. And thanks again to Universal Music Enterprises and Sneak Attack Media for providing the prizes.

“Living in the Material World” – Win a DVD or CD

The DVD, BluRay and a Deluxe box set edition of Martin Scorsese’s “Living in the Material World”, which have been previously released in the UK and other parts of the world, have only just come onto the market in the United States. Here’s Martin Scorsese talking about his film:

Also out on May 1st was a new CD, Vinyl (and Digital download) of previously unreleased George Harrison out-takes and studio demos featured in “Living In The Material World”.  It’s called “Early Takes – Volume 1“:

Now – here’s your chance to win either a DVD of “Living in the Material World” or the new CD “Early Takes – Volume 1”.  To be in the running to win all you have to do is be the first person to email me at with the correct answer to this question:

Olivia Harrison gave Martin Scorsese complete access to the Harrison family archives, including pictures (like the ones above and below), home videos, etc.  Scorsese was on location filming another project when a security guard flew in from London with George Harrison’s diaries for him to view. In which city was he in, and which film was Scorsese making at the time?

Its a little bit tricky – but the answer is not far away.

The first two correct entries sent to my email address above will win. One person will get the new DVD, the next correct answer will win the new CD.

Thank you to Universal Music Enterprises and Sneak Attack Media for providing the prizes.

George Harrison “Living in the Material World” Multi-Touch book

Not one but two press releases out today (one from The Beatles official site, the other from the George Harrison official site) about a new “multi-touch” e-book edition of “Living in the Material World”.

There’s even a fancy trailer to look at:

This all comes hot on the heals of the release in the United States on DVD, BluRay and a Deluxe box set edition (which have all been out in the UK and other parts of the world since October last year) of the Martin Scorsese documentary film of the same name, plus a CD, Vinyl and Digital release of George Harrison previously un-released out-takes called “Early Takes – Volume 1“.

Another screenshot from the “multi-touch” edition.

Very soon I’ll have a copy of the DVD and a copy of the CD to give away to two lucky readers. 

Harrison Film Biography – The Verdict

“There are two ways to look at George Harrison. The nicer one is that he was a top-line and under-appreciated guitarist…, that he wrote at least two classic songs (“Something,” and “Here Comes the Sun,” two more than most songwriters write) and another half-dozen quite good ones….The other and arguably more realistic appraisal might be that George Harrison’s contributions as a guitarist were pretty much limited to a few Beatles riffs.”  – Bill Wyman from Slate gets stuck into the Scorsese film.

“One aspect that doesn’t shine through fully enough is his sense of humour.” – Martin Chilton in the UK Telegraph.

Paul McCartney described George as a “cocky little guy” and producer George Martin labeled him as “so cheeky.” –  Rachel Ray, The Telegraph’s US TV reviewer.

“….if you’re a big Beatles fan (I am), then it’s never going to lack interest…He looked inwards, chanted mantras, spent his life trying to forgive and give. A good egg, but no Lennon…” – Ben Walsh, The Independent.

“With Martin Scorsese’s documentary about the quiet Beatle….it is time to appreciate Harrison as a teacher and a transmitter.” – Philip Goldberg focuses on George’s spirituality in The Huffington Post.

“One facet of George Harrison’s personality that came into sharper relief for me during a preview screening of Martin Scorsese’s documentary was his role…as a provocateur.” – The LA Times Randy Lewis.

“In Martin Scorsese’s documentary “George Harrison: Living in the Material World,” Harrison’s journey is traced as a search for himself in the tumult of incoming distractions.” – Roger Ebert in The Chicago Sun-Times.

And from today’s paper in my home town:

“In the footage and text, George Harrison comes across as someone who had mixed views about a life indelibly marked by his tumultuous decade in the most famous pop band of all time…If nothing else, the book and film reveal a man for whom friendships mattered more deeply than almost anything.” – Bernard Zuel, music critic with the Sydney Morning Herald

And finally, not so much a review but another interesting article about George’s spirituality in the film from The Washington Post.

Unboxing “Living in the Material World” DVD/BluRay Box Set

Haven’t got this yet because it is only available in the UK so far….but one fan has posted a video of his unboxing of the Deluxe Edition of the DVD/BluRay/CD set:

Paul Theroux on Harrison and Scorsese

As interest grows around the release this week of the new Martin Scorsese documentary on the life of George Harrison, much is being written about the documentary and it’s importance.

Many will know and respect the work of US travel writer and novelist Paul Theroux. He has written a lengthy but insightful piece for The Daily Beast on “Living in the Material World”. It carries the title “The Sixth Beatle?” and contains the byline “George Harrison was liberated by rock and roll. Turns out Martin Scorsese was too”.

Theroux postulates that the two men, the musician and the film-maker, have more in common than might first appear:

“He had everything so young—everything was possible. He was struggling for his own creativity—for his creativity to be recognized,” Scorsese said. “But he wouldn’t have been able to create All Things Must Pass had he not gone through the relationship—the family relationship of the Beatles. That’s what you pay. That’s the price you pay.”

Scorsese’s solemn tone suggested that he could relate to George’s ups and downs. George’s Dark Horse tour was savaged, in the way that some of Scorsese’s greatest films were initially greeted with bewilderment and scorn.

Scorsese agreed, saying, “In my own work I was in those areas not once but many times—coming up against a brick wall. I thought Raging Bull was the last picture I was ever going to make. A number of times I was that way, flattened out, and coming back. As George’s story developed there was no way I couldn’t relate to it in my own life.”

There are two other articles I’d recommend, both from the New York Times. The first is a revealing interview with Olivia Harrison about the project. The second is a feature by David Itzkoff about George and the documentary.

Worth a look.