DVD: George Harrison: Living in the Material World (12)
Friday 07 October 2011
A host of celebrated Sixties shakers – Eric Clapton, a bug-eyed Phil Spector, Pattie (inspiration for "Layla") Boyd – discuss the Beatles guitarist, but it takes a Beatle to know a Beatle, and Paul McCartney's observations are by far the most illuminating.
He points out that the notoriously calm George was just like any "red-blooded" man (he was prone to infidelity) and touches upon the squabbles they had, pointing out a fall-out over Macca's "Hey Jude". But there's clearly a lot of affection, too. It seems everyone loved the "Quiet One"; and he was clearly a decent, cerebral, hugely spiritual fellow. Does it make for a fascinating three-and-a-half hours? Well, if you're a big Beatles fan (I am), then it's never going to lack interest – the black-and-white shots of the band, dressed in leather and drenched in sweat, in Hamburg are engrossing. However, this simply doesn't have what Scorsese's epic No Direction Home: Bob Dylan had. It's not thrilling because, simply, Harrison was not the thrilling type. He looked inwards, chanted mantras, spent his life trying to forgive and give. And towards the end of the 1960s and early 1970s he gave the world beautiful pop – "Something", "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" and "Here Comes the Sun", and later gave us, as a film producer, the likes of Withnail and I and Life of Brian. No one has a bad word to say about him, essentially. A good egg, but no Lennon...
Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites
TV We're so close to knowing what happened to Oliver Hughes, but a last-minute bluff crushes expectations
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Peter Lik: The self-proclaimed 'fine-art photographer' whose work sells for millions
Best underrated Christmas movies from Trading Places to While You Were Sleeping
Grace Dent on TV: The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies was a beautifully shot, immensely considered drama
The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies, review: Jason Watkins is brilliant, but real victim Joanna Yeates is reduced to a footnote
Marilyn Manson denies involvement in shocking Lana Del Rey rape video
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
Sony hack: Angelina Jolie branded 'seriously out of her mind' in further embarrassing leaked email saga