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George Harrison - Living in the Material World [Blu-ray]
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Directed by Martin Scorsese, George Harrison – Living in the Material World is a stunning double-feature-length film tribute to one of music’s greatest icons.
Scorsese uses never-before-seen footage from George Harrison’s childhood, throughout his years with The Beatles, through the ups and downs of his solo career, and through the joys and pain of his private life, to trace the arc of George’s journey from his birth in 1943 to his passing in 2001. Living in the Material World features private home videos, photos and never before heard tracks to chronicle the incredible story of the extraordinary man.
Despite its epic reach, the film is deeply personal. Ringo Starr, Eric Clapton, Paul McCartney, Yoko Ono, Olivia and Dhani Harrison, among many others, talk openly about George’s many gifts and contradictions and reveal the lives they shared together. In every aspect of his professional, personal and spiritual life, until his final hours, George blazed his own path.
As his friend John Lennon once said: "George himself is no mystery. But the mystery inside George is immense. It’s watching him uncover it all little by little that’s so damn interesting."
- Paul McCartney interview
- Here Comes The Sun
- Jeff Lynne interview
- Damon Hill interview
- Dispute and Violence
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Top Customer Reviews
I watched both parts of the film at UK preview and at no point did my attention or enthusiasm flag. In fact I would have happily sat through any outtakes! This beautifully crafted film is packed with concert footage, home movies, press conferences, interviews, photos and documents that I've never seen before, even though I've been researching the Beatles quite heavily for several years for Beatles Songwriting Academy. There are interviews with (or at least footage of) everyone you would hope to see. Beatles, wives, brothers, son, Pythons and peers. Everyone from Eric Clapton to Eric Idle.
The documentary is constructed entirely from interviews and clips without explanation or analysis. The closest we get to a voiceover is Dhani Harrison reading excerpts from his father's diary and letters to his mum. Though the film is visually stunning it's strange watching the practically square picture forced upon us by the source material. Equally quirky is the sound editing. Scorsese doesn't know the meaning of 'fade'. All the music cuts brutally, sometimes after a few seconds. Sometimes this is cool. Mostly it's odd. The film is largely chronological and there are some great juxtapositions of sound and visuals like All Things Must Pass accompanies footage of the WW2 bombers that plagued the Liverpool of Harrison's birth. The first part covers George's life up to the White Album.Read more ›
THE HD TRANSFER:
In a word: Incredible! Living In The Material World draws from every recording medium of the last 60 years, from super 8 to 35mm, VHS to HD video, all of which is rendered beautifully across this 1080p disc. The filmmakers have clearly gone to great lengths to source the very best picture elements available. The film footage is transferred so beautifully it is almost akin to watching a cinema projection. The interviews from The Beatles' Anthology are a revelation, banishing the pixellated DVD edition into oblivion. The countless stills are so pin sharp and sumptuous they almost feel 3-Dimensional. An absolutely gorgeous HD transfer.
Somewhat bizarrely, the 2.0 PCM soundtrack seems to be in mono. This is more than made up for by the fantastic DTS HD Master Audio track. These songs would sound wonderful on a beat-up transistor radio, but listening to Harrison and The Beatles in master quality isn't entirely unwelcome.
THE BLU-RAY/DVD EXTRAS:
A huge disappointment. I was expecting more extensive versions of the interviews featured in the film. Unfortunately, the entire selection only amounts to a measly 23 minutes. Paul McCartney and Neil Aspinall's interviews clock in at only 2:23 & 3:31 respectively. Such a missed opportunity considering the huge amount of material the filmmakers must have amassed. The extras exclusive to this deluxe edition are equally "blink and you'll miss it", offering nothing of worth compared to the standard release.Read more ›
This really is a very long film - part 1 is 94 mins and the second disc (with part 2 and bonus features) is 122 mins. However, it is so well put together and so interesting that you really feel it could be even longer. The film starts with George's time in Liverpool, but it is not exhaustively in order. Although the interviews generally cover things in biographical sequence - Liverpool, Hamburg, touring, etc, it does cut backwards and forwards. So, there are clips of the Beatles signing papers to break up the band during interviews covering earlier times, for example. Some of the clips with George appear to be from the Anthology interviews and had previously appeared in the Anthology. There is also some footage from the Anthology featuring Paul, George and Ringo looking at old photographs, which is very funny. A vast array of people were interviewed, including, of course, Paul and George. Also those involved with Handmade films, from George's passion with cars and racing and members of the Wilbury's. Phil Spector looks very nervous and twitchy, Eric Clapton is very interesting and Yoko is extremely gracious and generous in her comments, as always.
As a Beatle fan I have to say that Ringo is constantly entertaining and always manages to make you smile. His story of an early tour, where Paul had the car keys and George, having hopped behind the wheel of the car, was insisting he would drive made me almost cry with laughter.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Love this documentary about one of my all time most loved musicians. In answer to a couple of churlish and abusive earlier reviews- Olivia Harrison only appears in this film for... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Miss J C Milligan
Was really looking forward to watching this. Sadly I was disappointed. There was nothing new in the documentary that hadn't already been published. Waste of money really.Published 4 months ago by Bumblebee