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Do you admire George Lucas?


Josh500
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Do you like/admire George Lucas?  

76 members have voted

  1. 1. He brought us Star Wars and Indiana Jones!!!

    • Yes.
      47
    • No.
      29


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6 hours ago, Nick1066 said:

 

Yes. George is...a survivor... unclouded by conscience, remorse, or delusions of morality. He really is a miracle of evolution. A perfect engine, an eating machine...

 

George-Lucas.png

 

...he films, and eats, and makes baby Georges. And that's all.

 

 

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I wouldn't if it meant people started actively bothering him, but they're brilliant when they turn up.

 

Not the same thing but just reminded me of my favorite Spielberg encounter on YouTube

 

 

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11 minutes ago, mrbellamy said:

I wouldn't if it meant people started actively bothering him, but they're brilliant when they turn up.

 

 

You don't want to see video of Lucas leaving his bathroom with a towel around his waist? 

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Lets see.

 

He made a very good kids' film fourty years ago, helped make several other admirable films in the two decades that follow, wrapped them in a pretentious rhetoric, had been a source of constant misinformation to his audience (mostly in the interest of aggrandizing his creative properties) and then he sold-off those creative properties to make "experimental films" a shit ton of money.

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4 minutes ago, Chen G. said:

Lets see.

 

He made a very god kids' film, helped make several other admirable films, and then he sold-off his creative properties to make "experimental films" a shit ton of money.

 

I'm not the biggest fan of Lucas, but I still give him more credit than this.  Sort of a dismissive way to describe a pretty impressive life as artist and businessman.

 

And when describing The Empire Strikes Back as "admirable", if by "admirable" you mean "one of the greatest films of all time", I agree!

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19 minutes ago, Nick1066 said:

if by "admirable" you mean "one of the greatest films of all time".

 

I do.

 

The Last Crusade would also like to have a word on this subject.

 

But those films are primarily the work of Irvin Kershner, Lawrence Kasdan; Steven Spielberg et al. Not that writing a story synopsis is to be sniggered at, but the real trick is to make the story work.

 

What I dislike about Lucas isn't even his filmmaking (I'm far from being the prequel trilogy's biggest critic, Attack of the Clones notwithstanding) but his rhetoric: all this talking-off-his-ass blatant lies, meant to put his work on a pedestal, this "I'm gonna make experimental films next" bollocks not being the least of these lies.

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3 hours ago, Chen G. said:

Lets see.

 

He made a very good kids' film fourty years ago, helped make several other admirable films in the two decades that follow, wrapped them in a pretentious rhetoric, had been a source of constant misinformation to his audience (mostly in the interest of aggrandizing his creative properties) and then he sold-off those creative properties to make "experimental films" a shit ton of money.

 

Literally the only reason why Temple of Doom is a dark red movie is because Lucas was going through a divorce at the time. 

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Was it?

 

The film was being developed and written before Lucas' divorce was a thing, I believe. By the time of the divorce, they would have been into shooting.

 

I think, as Lucas himself put it, he just wanted to make an "edgier" film.

 

 

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God almighty, who are those extremely annoying people harrasing him? I'm not a violent person, but I want to punch them in the face.

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The truth is, he just said 'action' and 'cut' but offered no help in between. Some say it shows and that the acting isn't optimal.

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34 minutes ago, The Big Man said:

His directing is flawless.

 

I reckon you must get up in the morning and think to yourself, "now, what can I chat shite about today?" 

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4 hours ago, AC1 said:

The odd thing is, he never had a passion for directing.

 

Indeed. Even the original Star Wars doesn't really excell on the way its directed. There are some arresting shots, but overall the camerawork and performances are...servicable.

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There are definitely some great-looking shots in there. But on the whole its very high-key, "lets put the camera on a tripod and get this done with" type of film.

 

The secret to its success lays in other departments.

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More like the story, the effects and the score.

 

The acting - Guinness and Cushing notwithstanding - isn't really that good, either.

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Soz I'm still in Fast & Furious mode, so stunts and explosions are prominent in my mind.

 

Regarding the acting, there isn't really any moment of the film where the actors aren't convincing me that they are who they're playing. It's not like Gal Gadot's corny delivery of "Kal-El! Nooo!" in Justice League where you burst out laughing at how silly it sounds.

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1 hour ago, Disco Stu said:

Chen's unrelenting yearslong "well actually" campaign against Lucas is pretty cringe.

 

I don't have any campign against Lucas as a filmmaker. Like I said, I'm far from the biggest critic of his lesser films (except maybe Attack of the Clones) and I certainly don't subscribe to the idea that Star Wars was somehow succesfull in spite of him.

 

I'm just saying it like I see it. I think the success of the original Star Wars is more to do with Lucas the writer than Lucas the director.

 

1 hour ago, The Big Man said:

Regarding the acting, there isn't really any moment of the film where the actors aren't convincing me that they are who they're playing.

 

Its all perfectly servicable, yes. But its just nowhere near as good as in the sequel, I think.

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1 hour ago, Chen G. said:

 

Indeed. Even the original Star Wars doesn't really excell on the way its directed. There are some arresting shots, but overall the camerawork and performances are...servicable.

Umm...

 

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The prequels are a bunch of ugly f'ing dungpiles, but George Lucas achieved what he wanted as a young guy, and that's more than I can say about 98% of humanity. 

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18 hours ago, Chen G. said:

Its all perfectly servicable, yes. But its just nowhere near as good as in the sequel, I think.

 

The sequels are what are tactically redundant and serviceable. The most cliche and overrated crap ever produced; standardized production and acting, there was nothing impactful or worthwhile about their purpose. You truly believe what you say at a deeper level? They were lucky to have John Williams.

 

The Lucas dislike seems off to me. Imo,

 

A New Hope is my personal favorite of the OTs.

 

Star Wars OT > LoTR

 

Star Wars Prequels > Hobbit

 

Of course Jackson is not as well off. He's newer and thus comes under more pressure from his production team. Lucas still has way more vision and discernment--his writing, production and hiring is spot-on compared to other directors. However, why his different approach to storytelling and production is overall better is hard for me to explain at this time. He has a very gifted imagination. You can tell what he chooses to film ties to a larger vision, rather than just thinking up 'deep stuff' or crowd-pleasing narratives that go nowhere.

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I like some of the films that Mr. Lucas has been connected with, and I don't like others.

As for the man; I don't know him, I've never met him, nor do I plan to, so I cannot say whether I admire him, or not.

He has, however, adopted three unwanted children, and, for me, that says more about the man than his films ever could. For this, he has my respect.

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I suppose @Nick1066 is correct and that its best to write something a bit more substantial about George Lucas. Now, I'm going to preface that I'm looking at his legacy as a filmmaker - i.e. director and screenwriter - more so than as an innovator of film technology or a buisnessman. I don't think I have the tools to assess the latter, nor does it interest me. I'm looking at Lucas the filmmaker.

 

I think most creative people have big variations in their output - for every Tristan there's a Liebesverbot, for every Lawrence a Ryan's Daughter, for every Jaws a Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. That's just the nature of creativity. The Martin Scorseses of this world are incredibly few and far in between.

 

In the case of George Lucas this compounds the issue of assessing his filmography, because its so miniscule: he only wrote and directed seven feature films. This brings up another important point: I don't think its right to give Lucas a central credit for films like Indiana Jones, Willow or the direct sequels to the original Star Wars: it is only fair to credit those films primarily to their respective directors and main writers. Sure, Lucas produced and came-up with the story synopsis and I'm not belitting that in any way when I say that writing "this happens and then that happens" is one thing, and making it work as scenes in a script and then as scenes in a film is where the true art of filmmaking lies. I mean, think about all the ways in which you can take the story of The Empire Strikes Back or of Raiders and completely botch it.

 

Of course, there are claims (which are, as far I can tell, mostly propogated by Lucas and his hagiographers) that he had a huge involvement in the actual shooting of the films he produced. I don't believe that's the case: we certainly know that Kershner got to make The Emprie Strikes Back as he wanted, and I think very few of us would seriously think that anyone was calling the shots of Spielberg's set other than Steven Spielberg. Its considered common knowledge that Lucas was more heavily involved on Richard Marquand's set, and while that would seem to be true in comparison to Kershner, it would be wrong to assume that Lucas "directed Return of the Jedi from the backseat" - Marquand himself was adamant that this was not the case, and I'd sooner take his word on the subject than that of Lucas or his hagiographers.

 

This brings the subject of Lucas' persona, which is that of a big liar. All this nonesense about having written anywhere between three and twelve Star Wars features all in advance; about how what he really wants to do next is to direct "experimental" films (which he'd been saying since 1973 and had yet to make good on), about how he alledgely came up with the stories of Indiana Jones (all three entries, as he originally told Spielberg), Willow and The Radioland Murders all while he was writing the original Star Wars - its all balderdash.

 

Now, before you accuse me of descending to Ad Hominem, I do think this is important to the assesment of Lucas' legacy as a filmmaker, because what many of these lies do is set-up false expectations from his audience of his films. This idea that Lucas had read Frazer, Bettleheim and Campbell to distill "universal psychological underpinnings of mythological motifs" is absolutely intended to put Star Wars on a pedestal. Its not so much that its a pedestal it doesn't deserve, so much as it is a pedestal that sets-up a wrong expectation and in that way, does a disservice to the film and the series.

 

To speak to Lucas' own films, I do maintain that the original Star Wars (the best that he directed) works more due to Lucas the writer than Lucas the director. I don't think he really does anything that impressive behind the camera, but I think he did something quite extraordinary on the page, and realized brilliantly more through his admirable command of the special effects, the editing and so forth than the in-camera mise-en-scene.

 

 As much as I'm not the biggest fan of that movie, I don't subscribe to the idea that the movie was great in spite of Lucas, which is what a lot of people seem to be suggesting: There's no evidence that Lucas didn't exercise complete artistic freedom over that film (within the logistical limitations, at least) and this idea of other people in the production shutting down Lucas' ideas is largely the stuff of legend. I think at one point his DP wanted a sharp look, Lucas wanted a diffused look and his DP acquiesce to his demands, but perhaps it didn't end-up quite as diffused as Lucas otherwise could have had.

 

Likewise, I don't think the following films didn't benefit from Lucas' presence. Like I said, Lucas didn't intervene of Kershner's shooting of The Empire Strikes Back, or it in its editing, but basically every not-in-camera special effects shot was supervised by Lucas. It was supervised based on very meticulous storyboards prepared by Kershner, but still. So its not like we can truly brush away his contributiosn to the film entirely. Spielberg also reveals that Lucas helped edit portions of Raiders.

 

I also find merit in his later films. I am quite fond of Revenge of the Sith, not just in comparison to its two imemdiate predecessors, but in general. If Lucas had continued to make films like that (in style and caliber) I'd had been absolutely fine with that. Over time, I've shed much (but not all) of my distaste for The Phantom Menace. I even find (he said through gritted teeth) some merit in the first 30-40 minutes of Attack of the Clones.

 

I think that part of the issue with his directorial sensibility (not that the prequel trilogy is perfect on the page - because by god it isn't!) is that at heart he had remained a low-budget documentarian. His camera setups tend to be very simple, and from what I can gather the same is true of his work with the actors: he just shoots through scenes very fast, so there's no time to make really great shots or to get really powerful performances.

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