February 20, 2013

Rare praise for obscure movie director of the 1970’s

Filed under: Humour, Media — Tags: , , — Nicholas @ 13:30

He apparently goes by the same name as one of the most reviled movie figures of the last 20 years:

It’s hard to imagine now, but the original Star Wars movie was more than just a star-spanning, kid-pleasing action flick. It was also a rule-breaking, expectation-thwarting one-film rebel alliance.

For instance, remember how the movie starts with a blare of trumpets and the title, followed the text crawl, followed by the actual movie? Notice how there aren’t three minutes of “Doopdy Doo Pictures and Skippity-Skip Entertainment Present … A Furfty Fur/Yonker Boo Production … A Glarpton Spitcake Film … Elwee Groodicle … Robbles Pancake … Spankster Carmont … and Bliss Underham … Casting by Arhop Maser, C.S.A … Music by Hambone Jury … Cheese Table Relocation by Hollywood Dairy Movement L.L.C.” and so forth? Lucas was fined $250,000 for that. Specifically, he was fined by the Director’s Guild for not having an opening director credit. That’s right, he was fined for not giving himself credit before the film even starts.

Or take the fact that there are two main characters who not only don’t speak English, but whose growlings and bleepings aren’t even translated into subtitles.

Oh, and one more thing. It’s science fiction. These days you can’t swing a large popcorn without hitting a science-fiction blockbuster right in the hyperdrive, but at the time there hadn’t been a really successful science fiction movie in nearly a decade. Just by setting his film in a galaxy far, far away — not to mention long, long ago — Lucas was defying the conventional movie-making wisdom of the time.

The point is that while Star Wars is the spaceship that launched a thousand clichés, it achieved its success by being something profoundly original. So here’s my unsolicited advice to Abrams, and moreover to the hundreds of entertainment bureaucrats who are going to want to have their meddling incorporated into the upcoming Star Wars VII: Action of the Noun: Don’t give into the Dark Side. Don’t incorporate the following clichés that have increasingly infested sequels for the past 35 years.

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