During the weekend I went to catch a screening of Martin Scorsese’s depiction of George Harrison – Living In A Material World. George has always been my favorite Beatle, I’ve admired his unique but alas too rare contributions to the Beatles’ seemingly endless catalogue. When Sir Paul McCartney played here in Tel Aviv, the most meaningful and resonating moment for me was when he brought out a ukelele and did a rendition of Something, dedicating it to George.
Even knowing the movie was intended to be a two-parter (and has a running time of 208 minutes) and yet the cinematheque was insisting on showing it back to back with no intermission, did not deter me. All the reviews I had read were filled with praise and Saturdays at noon time are meant for this sort of outing.
It was entirely disappointing. The film did not offer an inkling of new information or step into uncharted territory. The editing was atrocious, cutting interviews or songs abruptly, letting people talk for too long, and the whole ordeal seemed incredibly repetitive. I was especially put off by the amount of screen-time dedicated to George “finding his spirituality” – which Scorsese chose to score with unrelenting sitar music.
The only saving grace, as with most Beatles documentaries, was Ringo’s last minute on screen.
Thank the heavens Pete Best was ousted and they brought in Richard Starkey.
So if you have any intention to spend three hours or so of your life watching documentaries, I suggest you get your hands on the following (you’ll even have 4 minutes to spare):
Wordplay – Will Shortz, the New York Times’ crossword editor, is regarded as a god in certain circles, this is a glimpse into them. It’s sweet, well-paced, and you find yourself wrapped up in a movie about puzzles. Not accidentally, you find you, comparatively, suck at puzzles.
Waiting for Superman – the decline of the American educational system, which is in turn, leading to the decline of the American Empire.