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Scorsese snubs Liverpool for red-carpet premiere of George Harrison film

by Chris Bradley. Published Sun 18 Sep 2011 13:58, last updated: 18/09/11
Oscar-winning director Martin Scorsese
Oscar-winning director Martin Scorsese

Oscar-winning film director Martin Scorsese has snubbed Liverpool for the official UK premiere of his film about the life of Beatle George Harrison in London.

Film and Fab Four fans will be attending a dual screening at FACT on Sunday 2nd October when ‘Living in a Material World’ premieres at a red-carpet event in London.

Celebrities and paparazzi will join The Departed director and George Harrison’s widow, Olivia, in the capital while a recorded introduction is streamed to FACT.

A spokesperson for the film said: “The filmmakers are delighted that the first public screening will be held in Liverpool and that we’re able to premiere the film in London and Liverpool simultaneously.

“The filmmakers are very much aware of the importance of Liverpool and greatly value the support of the fans.

“Due to schedule time constraints the filmmakers are unable to attend a Liverpool screening at this time.”

Scorsese is best known for his epic gangster films but has directed several music documentaries, including ‘Shine a Light’, a film about The Rolling Stones.

The New York-born director is a huge fan of the Stones and their song ‘Gimme Shelter’ appears in Goodfellas, Casino and the 2006 Oscar winner The Departed.

But his latest project pays homage to the ‘quiet’ Beatle by weaving together unseen footage and photographs with interviews from Eric Clapton, Sir Paul McCartney, Yoko Ono and Ringo Starr.

“George was making spiritually awake music; we all heard and felt it. I think that was the reason that he came to occupy a very special place in our lives,” said Scorsese.

"When I was offered the chance to make this picture I jumped at it."

After The Beatles split up in April 1970, George Harrison embarked on a solo career which gave him a UK number one hit with ‘My Sweet Lord’ in October that year.

The guitarist joined super-group The Travelling Wilburys - featuring Bob Dylan, Tom Petty and Roy Orbison – during the 1980s and began producing films, notably the cult classic Withnail and I.

After being diagnosed with throat cancer in the mid-90s, Harrison retreated from public life but was attacked in 1999, when schizophrenic fan Mike Abram from Liverpool broke into his mansion in Suffolk and stabbed him multiple times.

On 29th November 2001, Harrison lost his battle with cancer and died at his home in Los Angeles with his son Dhani and his wife Olivia at his bedside.

His widow is excited to see her late husband’s life portrayed on screen in ‘Living in a Material World’.

She said: 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."

Tickets for the screening at FACT Picturehouse Liverpool are on sale now. The film goes on general release on 4th October.


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