Scorsese eyes 2011 bow for George Harrison film

Mon May 17, 2010 3:47am EDT
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By Jay A. Fernandez

CANNES (Hollywood Reporter) - Martin Scorsese says he hopes to release his George Harrison documentary next year, and is promising plenty of unseen footage and unheard songs.

He has been developing the project with the former Beatle's widow, Olivia, for the past three years, even while he was working on his recent thriller "Shutter Island."

Titled "Living in the Material World: George Harrison," the documentary will take on the whole of Harrison's life before, during and after his time in the world's most popular and successful band.

Among other things, Scorsese says he related to Harrison's quest for "spirituality," something the filmmaker has explored his whole life, and especially in movies from "Mean Streets" to "Kundun."

"That subject matter has never left me," said Scorsese. "The more you're in the material world, the more there is a tendency for a search for serenity and a need to not be distracted by physical elements that are around you."

"He always said he gave his nervous system for the Beatles," Olivia Harrison added.

Scorsese met Harrison several times, first when he, Jack Nicholson and Robbie Robertson knocked on his door in a frantic moment during the filming of "The Last Waltz" in the late '70s, and then again in the early '90s.

Olivia initiated the current project several years ago because after having been approached by numerous production companies, including the BBC, looking to make a documentary about Harrison from the moment he died of cancer in 2001. She resisted at first because Harrison had always wanted to do his own documentary using his own archive of videos.   Continued...