Tuesday, February 27, 2007

The Education of George Lucas

Watching all these 70s movies (for my Cinema of the 70s class) back-to-back is illiminating. I've seen all these movies, of course, but seeing them so close together gives you a different perspective. We watched George Lucas's THX 1138 and American Graffiti last Thursday night, and you could almost hear Lucas getting slapped down by the studio and the collective yawn from audiences after THX, only to see a populist, popular vision emerge in Graffiti. And, of course, we all know what came next...

2 Comments:

Anonymous Jonathan said...

Yes, Lucas has had a very interesting career and it has a lot to say about the relationship between the big studios and the small independent companies. I actually think "THX1138" is better science fiction than "Star Wars"--in my view, it says more with a hell of a lot less money and special effects. And look what he's finally come to--just a big joke. Some say he was really brave to stand up in front of millions of people, and his closest peers in the industry, and make fun of himself for not getting an Oscar, and maybe it does take a big man to do that, but personally I didn't find it funny. Rather a bit pathetic. To me, his last three films were a disappointment. And I thought there was an awful lot to be learned about the man and the social, economic, and political pressures on him, by looking at the scenes which he cut from "Attack of the Clones." (Have you seen those? They are included in the extras DVD.)

Perhaps Lucas can be seen as a tragic figure--someone with genius potential who was held back by and refused to stand up to the forces [no pun intended] surrounding him.

3/02/2007 11:27 AM  
Blogger Chris Hansen said...

well, i thought there were clear reasons he HASN'T won an Oscar; so I didn't think he was saying he should have, but rather kind of mocking what he was doing up there in the first place. He hasn't had the critically-acclaimed career of the others on the dais with him, but in other ways he's the king because he has the power to greenlight his own movies.

that's a dangerous power, of course. and i agree that there was genius potential there.

3/02/2007 1:02 PM  

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