After four years of work, Martin Scorsese is looking forward to sharing his long-awaited documentary on the life of George Harrison with the world. “George’s music always spoke directly to me,” Scorsese tells Rolling Stone. “So directly that I don’t think I realized just how inspiring he’d been for me until I made the picture.”
George Harrison: Living in the Material World will debut on HBO in two parts in October. Since Scorsese first revealed his plans for the project, he’s assembled in-depth interviews with those who knew Harrison – including his widow Olivia, fellow Beatles Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, Eric Clapton, Yoko Ono, Tom Petty, Terry Gilliam and more. Olivia Harrison, who co-produced the film, also gave him access to never-before-seen home movies and photographs.
“When I took in the stories told by Olivia and his friends, studied the images and the interviews, and immersed myself in the music, I could see that he was trying to find a way to simplicity, a way to live truthfully and compassionately,” says Scorsese. “It was never a straight line, but that’s not the point. I think he found an understanding: that there’s no such thing as ‘success,’ there’s just the path. It’s there in the life, and it’s felt most deeply in the music – the songs, the harmonies, the grand soaring passages, the guitar breaks and the solos, like shining jewels.”
Adds the director, “It’s been a joyful experience.”