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Thread: George Lucas Slams “Circus Movies” and YouTube Cat Videos

  1. #1
    Elite Member dougie's Avatar
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    Default George Lucas Slams “Circus Movies” and YouTube Cat Videos

    George Lucas Rips Hollywood, ‘Stupid’ Cat Videos at Sundance | Variety

    George Lucas Rips Hollywood, ‘Stupid’ Cat Videos at Sundance


    January 29, 2015 | 06:59PM PT
    "Star Wars" creator talks future of film with Robert Redford
    Brent Lang
    Senior Film and Media Reporter
    @BrentALang
    George Lucas offered a bleak assessment of the current state of the film business during a panel discussion with Robert Redford at the Sundance Film Festival on Thursday, saying that the movies are “more and more circus without any substance behind it.”

    However, the “Star Wars” director hit back at critics who said his role in kicking off the blockbuster film business has watered down cinematic storytelling.

    “If you go into ‘Star Wars’ and see what’s going on there, there’s a lot more substance than circus,” he argued.

    In its day, “Star Wars” represented a major breakthrough in technology, and it’s easy to discern a throughline from the galaxy far, far away to the comic book movies and special-effects driven productions that dominate today’s movie screens. The tools he helped popularize were all in the service of plot, he argued.

    “All art is technology,” said Lucas. “That’s the one thing that separates us from animals.”
    Redford, who is best known for character-driven films such as “The Way We Were” and “Out of Africa,” praised Lucas’ decision to finance his “Star Wars” films and maintain a tight grip on their creative and commercial future.

    “What I admire about what he’s done is he’s been able to control his own universe,” said Redford.

    The panel discussion was ostensibly about storytelling, but it covered a wider array of topics, from the pair’s origins in the entertainment industry to the economics of the movie business.
    Lucas also let the audience in on the secret to his enormous wealth: “All the money is in the action figures,” he said.

    The men are two of the most successful filmmakers in Hollywood history, but both Lucas and Redford stressed that they saw themselves as rebels.

    Positioning themselves outside of the studio system were the key to their most enduring successes — Lucas’ space fantasy “Star Wars” and Redford’s founding of Sundance, the indie gathering that marked its third decade this year. And both men stressed that they came of age during the hippie movement, a time when youth was king and no one trusted any authority figure over 30.

    “All of us in film school hated the establishment,” said Lucas. “It was the ’60s.”

    That anti-establishment drive led him to maintain a geographical remove from the major studios. He made his home base in San Francisco as opposed to Los Angeles. That in turn forced him to create Industrial Light and Magic and Lucasfilm, twin poles of a pop culture empire that not only fielded “Star Wars,” but also the Indiana Jones franchise.

    “Studio executives generally are not the most sophisticated people in the world…you do not want to be oppressed by people who are not as smart as you are and I’m dumb,” said Lucas.
    As for Redford, the studios shift away from the darker, more personal dramas of the 1970s and ’60s into broader and more mainstream fare in the 1980s prompted him to create a haven for emerging artists who wanted to remain true to their artistic voices.

    “We thought if we had a festival at least artists could come together and see each other’s work,” said Redford.

    Moral complexity defined many of Redford’s most enduring works, such as “Downhill Racer” and “The Candidate,” both of which examine the limitations of the American dream. Those are the kind of films he loved and the type of challenging fare that frightens studios.

    “I see an America that’s more in a gray zone, where things are more complex,” said Redford. “I wanted to tell those stories.”

    This year’s festival has been praised for its range of voices, with roughly a third of the films in Sundance’s U.S. dramatic competition directed by women. That’s the future of independent film, Redford stressed.

    “Independence and diversity go hand in hand in my mind,” said Redford.

    He noted that beyond the movie theater, the world faces a series of economic and environmental challenges, but he remained optimistic about the future.

    “Young people are really, really smart — years ago it seemed like they were disenchanted with the system,” said Redford. “Now they want the reins.”

    Lucas seemed more puzzled by the current state of culture. The man who took bigscreen fantasies to bold new worlds said he never could have predicted the smallness of popular entertainment options on platforms such as YouTube.

    “I would never guess people would watch cats do stupid things all day long,” said Lucas.

    George Lucas Rips Hollywood, ‘Stupid’ Cat Videos at Sundance | Variety

  2. #2
    Elite Member gas_chick's Avatar
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    I will forever love him for the first three Star Wars movies but I'd rather watch cat videos than the last three Star Wars movies.
    I am going to come and burn the fucking house down... but you will blow me first."

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    Silver Member BeantownBitch's Avatar
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    Star wars is WAY overrated.
    BLAHHHHHHHH
    Kittylady and Air Quotes like this.

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    Elite Member MohandasKGanja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BeantownBitch View Post
    Star wars is WAY overrated.
    BLAHHHHHHHH
    I can see how someone might see it that way in retrospect. But I was about 10 or 11 when it came out, and it was an incredible phenomenon. The look and feel of sci-fi movies, and the ability to realistically depict sci-fi scenes went right off the chart. I'm not a sci-fi person, but I can't overstate the awe that I and other people felt experiencing those films (particularly, the first one) for the first time.
    MsDark, tulip, JazzyGirl and 1 others like this.

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    Elite Member JazzyGirl's Avatar
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    I 100% echo what Mo says. I do not like sci fi at all...the first movie was amazing and groundbreaking for its time. I especially loved the effect of hyper speed. The theater cheered when the Death Star blew at the end...we all had crushes on Harrison Ford and wanted to be feisty Princess Leia.

    But back to cat videos, sorry George...I love them!

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    czb
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    Quote Originally Posted by dougie View Post
    ...

    “Studio executives generally are not the most sophisticated people in the world…you do not want to be oppressed by people who are not as smart as you are and I’m dumb,” said Lucas.
    ....
    rollo and sputnik like this.

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    Elite Member sputnik's Avatar
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    count me in as a huge star wars fan - of the first three movies (minus the ending of 'return of the jedi' and the fucking ewoks).
    but i'm also a rabid cat lady so youtube cat videos forever.
    also, george lucas still can't write believable dialogue to save his life.
    ConstanceSpry likes this.
    I'm open to everything. When you start to criticise the times you live in, your time is over. - Karl Lagerfeld

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    Elite Member MohandasKGanja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sputnik View Post
    count me in as a huge star wars fan - of the first three movies (minus the ending of 'return of the jedi' and the fucking ewoks).
    Return of the Jedi came out when I was a senior in high school, and we had an open campus and ability to schedule our classes any way we wanted. So, I managed to see Return of the Jedi on the day it came out. It was great, and my fellow nerd friends were really jealous. And I totally agree about the Ewoks. I can still remember thinking how unbelievably schmaltzy that was - and Harrison Ford looks like he couldn't hide his embarrassment in that scene. However, that was more than redeemed for me by the iconic Princess Leaia slave costume.
    sputnik likes this.

  9. #9
    Elite Member Brah's Avatar
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    I'm way too tired to read that rn, but still want to voice that American Graffiti is my fav George Lucas film. Haven't seen it in years, but I remember loving it.

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    Elite Member panic's Avatar
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    cat videos > George Lucas.

    But I do like American Graffiti.
    Belt Up likes this.

  11. #11
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    Well put, Mo -- it was seriously mind-blowing when it came out. You can't even imagine the excitement.

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