George Harrison: Living in the Material World (2011)

I’ve been sitting here for the last half hour surfing, reading up on George Harrison, and trying to come up with a hook or something introductory for this review.  I think the fact that thanks to stupid Telus Video On Demand, I haven’t seen the last bit of the movie and don’t have closure on it yet.  I will finish it though, and will edit this review in accordance with any changed feelings (Ed. Note: after watching, nothing changed).

Basically, for years I snobbishly dismissed The Beatles as overrated and hippy music and so on, without really listening to them.  Well, by the time that huge 9/9/09 re-release of The Beatles catalogue came about, I was decidedly amped and jazzed to see what I had been missing.  I ended up buying four of the reissues (Abbey Road, Revolver, Rubber Soul, and Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band) over a period of time, and if I would have continued working at hmv, probably would have ended up owning them all by now.  I also ended up buying several Beatles books and just kind of immersed myself in them for a time and it was lovely.

Through those readings and other media (Nowhere Boy was a fairly decent film, Beatles Rock Band great fun), I had developed this new-found appreciation for them, and the members of the band.  I also came to prefer certain members over the others, and truthfully, John Lennon is the tops, followed by George Harrison, and then well it should be Paul McCartney, but his disturbing physical similarity in his old age to Angela Lansbury… well it IS disturbing.  Then Ringo.  I always respected Harrison’s skills and while I might not be the biggest fan of his spiritual side, I also liked that he seemed to not fully embrace his iconic status and actually distanced himself from it in ways following The Beatles success.

Anyways, Martin Scorsese met with Olivia Harrison, George’s widow, about putting together a documentary on the life of George (it would have been awesome if he called it that).  George Harrison had been collecting archival footage of himself for years to protect his legacy and tell his life story, and Scorsese was given access to it and produced a wonderful sorta documentary / biopic with tremendous music and rarely seen footage and it’s wonderful.  It touches on everything in Harrison’s life that I knew about (will have to wait and see if his “Simpsons” appearance is mentioned in the last bit) and not always in a reverential way.

George Harrison was a human being like all of us (I’m assuming you are, though on the Internet nobody knows if you’re a dog) and he lived a life far bigger and greater than 99% of the entirety of mankind ever will, and ultimately, he appeared to be a pretty humble guy about it.

4.5 / 5

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About SkoochXC
Long-time blogger, Canadian, cine-snark-aphile, Tweeter and generally lonely hearted guy.

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