Wednesday, 24 August 2011

George Harrison: Living in a Material World - directed by Martin Scorsese


Film Surveys The Life And Times Of The Iconic Musician

            LONDON, July 14, 2011 – Lionsgate announced today that it will be releasing Martin Scorsese’s GEORGE HARRISON:  LIVING IN THE MATERIAL WORLD from Grove Street Pictures on 10th October 2011.  The film 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 executive 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.” 
The documentary will be released in three editions – Double Disc DVD, Blu-Ray and a beautifully packaged Deluxe Edition including two DVDs, Blu-Ray, never before seen extras, an exclusive CD of previously unheard tracks from George Harrison and a stunning book of photographs and illustrations to accompany the film.  George Harrison: Living In The Material World will also be available to rent and to buy on digital formats.
GEORGE HARRISON: LIVING IN THE MATERIAL WORLD focuses the imaginative and inspired eye of one of cinema’s most preeminent filmmakers on one of the world’s most influential men.  The film takes viewers on the musical and spiritual voyage that was George Harrison’s life, much of it told in his own words.  The result is deeply moving and touches each viewer in unique and individual ways.
            Academy Award®-winning director Martin Scorsese traces Harrison’s life from his musical beginnings in Liverpool through his life as a musician, a seeker, a philanthropist and a filmmaker, weaving together interviews with Harrison and his closest friends, performances, home movies and photographs.  Much of the material in the film has never been seen or heard before.  The result is 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 film includes interviews with Eric Clapton, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, George Martin, Paul McCartney, Yoko Ono, Tom Petty, Phil Spector, Ringo Starr and Jackie Stewart.  They speak honestly and frankly about George’s many talents and contradictions.

Comments Scorsese, “Like so many millions of people, I first came to know George through the music, which was the soundtrack of our world.  The Beatles’ music, those beautifully lyrical guitar breaks and solos, those unforgettable songs of George’s like ‘I Me Mine’ or ‘If I Needed Someone,’ and the images, in magazines, on album covers, the TV appearances, the newsreel footage, the Richard Lester movies; and then there was the world after the Beatles, when George and his music seemed to open up and flower.  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.
            Notes Olivia Harrison, “Martin Scorsese’s intuition towards George was evident the first time we met to discuss this project.  He sensed what George was about:  his music, his strong beliefs, his art, his place in the Beatles’ story and his extraordinary life afterwards.  Marty’s wonderful film has found all of that and more.
            “I am happy to be working with Lionsgate, the preeminent independent home entertainment company, on the release of our film. Their commitment to excellence is well-known, and I am confident that they will bring great passion to our project.” 
            “This film was an extraordinary journey for all involved and it has been a sheer pleasure working with Martin Scorsese and Olivia Harrison to bring the amazing story and legacy of George Harrison to life,” adds Nigel Sinclair.   
Guy Avshalom, COO, Lionsgate UK and Nicola Pearcey, Managing Director, Lionsgate UK, Home Entertainment comment: "Lionsgate UK is very proud and excited to be managing the release of George Harrison: Living in the Material World in the UK and Ireland. The film is an incredible tribute to an extraordinary man - and one that will be relished by music and film fans alike this October."
Exclusive Films International, the international sales and marketing arm of Exclusive, represents worldwide rights, excluding the U.S.  Scott Pascucci serves as executive producer for Grove Street and is coordinating all aspects of the film’s distribution for Grove Street.
            Additionally, in October, Abrams Books will publish Olivia Harrison’s “George Harrison:  Living in the Material World,” a personal archive of photographs, letters, diaries and memorabilia from George’s life that reveals the arc of his life, from his guitar-obsessed boyhood in Liverpool, to the astonishment of the Beatles years, to his days as an independent musician and bohemian squire.  The book release is intended to coincide with the release of Scorsese’s film.
            Scorsese’s upcoming feature, “Hugo,” a 3D adaptation of Brian Selznick’s children’s book, starring Sacha Baron Cohen, Ben Kingsley, Jude Law, Chloe Moretz and Asa Butterfield, is due to be released in the U.K. by Entertainment Films in December 2011.   In 1976, Scorsese’s “Taxi Driver” was awarded the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival, and it was followed by a series of outstanding successes, including “New York, New York,” “Raging Bull,” “The Last Temptation of Christ,” “GoodFellas,” “Casino,” “Kundun,” “The Age of Innocence,” “Gangs of New York” and “The Aviator.”  Scorsese’s feature “The Departed” was released to critical acclaim in Oct. 2006, and would go on to win several Academy Awards®, including Best Picture and Best Director.  “Shine a Light,” Scorsese’s documentary of the Rolling Stones in concert, was released worldwide in April 2008.  His most recent feature was the acclaimed psychological drama “Shutter Island.”
            Scorsese’s artistic excellence has been recognized with many honors, including the Golden Lion from the Venice Film Festival, the AFI Lifetime Achievement Award, a Directors Guild of America Lifetime Achievement Award and a Kennedy Center Honor.  In addition to his work as a filmmaker, he has also been a staunch advocate for film preservation.  He is the founder and chair of The Film Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation and protection of motion picture history, and in 2007, he launched the World Cinema Foundation (for which he serves as both founder and chair), dedicated to the preservation and restoration of neglected films from around the world.
            Olivia Harrison is a producer and philanthropist.  She administers the Material World Charitable Foundation, and received a Grammy Award for her video of the 2002 “Concert for George,” which she organized to benefit the Foundation in memory of her husband.  She also administers the George Harrison Fund for UNICEF, and received the 2010 UNICEF Spirit Of Compassion Award in recognition of her family’s assistance to the children of Bangladesh.
            Nigel Sinclair is a Grammy Award-winning producer, and serves as CEO of Exclusive Media Group, which includes the documentary production outfit Spitfire Pictures.


Lionsgate U.K. is the diversified U.K.-based filmed entertainment arm of Lionsgate (NYSE:LGF), the leading independent filmed entertainment studio. The company (formerly Redbus Film Distributors) was acquired by Lionsgate in October 2005 and has since established a reputation in the U.K. as a leading producer and distributor and acquirer of commercially successful and critically acclaimed product, recently releasing such box office hits as The Expendables, Harry Brown, Oscar and BAFTA winner The Hurt Locker, Drag Me To Hell, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, I’ve Loved You So Long, 3.10 to Yuma, Good Luck Chuck, The Bank Job and Oscar-winning The Lives of Others in the U.K. Upcoming releases include the highly anticipated adaptation of Suzanne Collin’s The Hunger Games, Abduction, Conan the Barbarian, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, Coriolanus and A Dangerous Method.

Its prestigious and prolific library of nearly 13,000 motion picture titles and television episodes – including Mad Men, Nurse Jackie and Weeds – is a valuable source of recurring revenue and a foundation for the growth of the Company’s core businesses – film production and distribution, TV programming, home entertainment, family entertainment and video-on-demand content. The Lionsgate U.K. brand is synonymous with original, daring, quality entertainment in markets around the globe.

Sikelia Productions is the production entity for the critically acclaimed, Academy Award®-winning director Martin Scorsese.  The company oversees all of Scorsese’s projects, including “The Aviator” (2004), “The Departed” (2006; Academy Award® winner, Best Picture, 2007), “Shutter Island” (2010), the hit HBO series “Boardwalk Empire” and “Hugo” (Nov. 2011).  Sikelia is currently in pre-production with Scorsese’s next feature film, “Silence.”  In addition to GEORGE HARRISON: LIVING IN THE MATERIAL WORLD, Sikelia’s documentaries include “A Letter to Elia” (2010), “Public Speaking” (2010) and “No Direction Home:  Bob Dylan” (2005), among others.

Spitfire Pictures is the documentary production arm of Exclusive.  Recent releases for Spitfire Pictures include Oscar®-winning filmmaker James Moll’s full-length feature documentary “Foo Fighters:  Back and Forth,” Paul Crowder’s Billy Joel documentary “The Last Play at Shea” and, in 2005, Scorsese’s Grammy, Peabody and duPont Award-winning documentary “No Direction Home:  Bob Dylan.”

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