Saturday, November 29, 2014

George Lucas: Maker of Films (1971)

Director: Jerry Hughes

Writer: Not scripted

Composer: No original score

Starring: George Lucas, Gene Youngblood

More info: IMDb

Plot:  Film critic Gene Youngblood spends an afternoon with George Lucas discussing Lucas' brief time in making films which as led to his turning his award winning student film into a Hollywood feature film that was just released, THX 1138 (1971).

My rating: 7/10

Will I watch it again? Probably not.

This almost hour long video taped film was made to air on PBS.  It's a serious discussion about the state of the art of film making not only in dissing the major studio's way of doing things but also where technology is taking (and is going to take) the medium, that once everyone has access to the equipment that only then will you see art being made and distributed instead of consumable entertainment.  I really dig hearing the pre-too-big-for-his-britches Lucas discussing film making and this was done just as THX 1138 was released.  Lucas talks a little about his youth and what led him to film making and a lot about his college years, the making of the THX short film and how that led to his getting a larger budget feature made of it.  He's really upset with the changes Warner Bros. made that shaped his first feature, so much that I'd like to rip the plastic off my THX DVD and listen to the commentary before seeing the picture again.  It sounds like his original vision is vastly different, and cynical, to the finished product.

Also of interest is the inclusion of two short films, 6-18-67 (1967) (5 minutes) and ELECTRONIC LABYRINTH THX 1138 4EB (1967) (15 minutes).  The former is about meaningless will the latter will whet your appetite on what the young Lucas was thinking in science fiction terms 10 years before he finished STAR WARS (1977).  This short film is definitely worth a look for fans of the man (pre-prequels).  I miss that young, idealistic George Lucas.

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