U.S. cable net HBO has picked up the North American TV rights to George Harrison: Living In The Material World (pictured), a two-part documentary from Oscar-winner Martin Scorsese that examines the life of the iconic late musician.
The doc sees Scorsese trace Harrison’s life from his musical beginnings in Liverpool through his life as a musician, seeker, philanthropist and filmmaker, weaving together interviews with the former Beatle and his friends, as well as performances, home movies and photographs.
According to the network, much of the material in the film has never been seen or heard before, offering “a rare glimpse into the mind and soul of one of the most talented artists of his generation and a profoundly intimate and affecting work of cinema.” The doc includes interviews with Eric Clapton, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, George Martin, Paul McCartney, Yoko Ono, Tom Petty, Phil Spector, Ringo Starr and Jackie Stewart.
“When Martin Scorsese brings a project to HBO, we all know it is going to be very special, and he has added to that body of work with this monumental film on George Harrison,” said HBO programming president Michael Lombardo. “From rock ‘n’ roll icon to moviemaker, to spiritual seeker and humanitarian, George Harrison was a true renaissance man. This amazing film will illuminate every aspect of Harrison’s remarkable, multifaceted life.”
The doc will air on HBO over October 5 and 6, and was produced by Scorsese, through his Sikelia Productions banner; Olivia Harrison, through her Grove Street Pictures banner; and Nigel Sinclair, through Exclusive’s documentary label, Spitfire Pictures.
Margaret Bodde served as exec producer on the film, which was edited by David Tedeschi, who previously worked with Scorsese, Bodde and Sinclair on No Direction Home: Bob Dylan, and with Scorsese and Bodde on Public Speaking. Tedeschi also edited Scorsese’s Rolling Stones concert film Shine a Light.
Scorsese said: “I will never forget the first time I heard All Things Must Pass, the overwhelming feeling of taking in that all glorious music for the first time. It was like walking into a cathedral. George was making spiritually awake music – we all heard and felt it – and I think that was the reason that he came to occupy a very special place in our lives.
“So when I was offered the chance to make this picture, I jumped at it. Spending time with Olivia, interviewing so many of George’s closest friends, reviewing all that footage, some of it never seen before, and listening to all of that magnificent music – it was a joy, and an experience I’ll always treasure.”
Exclusive Films International, the international sales and marketing arm of Exclusive, represents worldwide rights, excluding the U.S. Scott Pascucci serves as exec producer for Grove Street and is coordinating all aspects of the film’s distribution for Grove Street.
In related news, Scorsese today landed an Emmy nomination for A Letter to Elia, his PBS documentary about On the Waterfront director Elia Kazan.