George Harrison's widow: Martin Scorsese found the "essence of George"'s Ken Lombardi speaks with legendary filmmaker Martin Scorsese and George Harrison's widow Olivia on the red carpet at the New York Film Festival about their new HBO documentary, "George Harrison: Living in the Material World."
Stephen Lovekin

(CBS) Oscar-winning filmmaker Martin Scorsese  sees Beatle George  Harrison's  quest  for enlightenment  as  a brave act, something he tries  to convey n his new documentary which airs tonight on HBO.

Scorsese and Olivia Harrison,  widow of the late Beatle, were on hand at this year's New York Film Festival for the red-carpet premiere of their new documentary, "George Harrison: Living in the Material World."  The two-part made-for-TV film is  a comprehensive look at the life and spiritual quest for enlightenment of the legendary musician, who died in 2001 after battling lung cancer.

Both Scorsese and Harrison spoke with on the Film Festival red carpet about a man who was often referred to as the "quiet Beatle."

"I don't think anyone really knew much about George, prior to this documentary," Harrison explained.

"I agree," Scorsese added. "In the 60s, to be talking about the spiritual advantages...of another cutlural view of life...especially from the East...was very, very brave." The director is referring to Harrison's at times-controversial studies of Indian culture and Hinduism.

Harrison, who served as a producer for this documentary, had nothing but praise for Scorsese as he brought her deceased husband's story to the big screen. "Marty has found the essence of George," Harrison told us.

The first part of the two-part  "George Harrison: Living in the Material World," airs tonight on HBO. See more of our interview with Harrison and Scorsese by watching the video at the top of this story.

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    Ken Lombardi is an entertainment reporter for CBS News. He has interviewed over 300 celebrities, including Clint Eastwood, Oprah Winfrey and Tom Hanks.