Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Lucasification

George Lucas. Some people adore and semi worship him. Some people hate him for what he did to his Star Wars saga. I have always found this second group interesting because they remind me of true believers who have fallen from the (in this instance Lucas) faith. And then there are those like me who neither adore or hate/adore George Lucas.

As someone who has long been critical of Lucas I simply find his films derivative and juvenile. In other words, and to use a metaphor, one can be a critic of Mormonism without being "anti-Mormon", a category, that for Mormons, hides a good deal of valid criticism of the faith, just as one can be a critic of Lucas without liking or disliking him. Personally, I could get that personal about his films.

If I recall correctly my reaction to first seeing Star Wars. I had been drawn to it by the media blitz and the gossip about it being the greatest thing since sliced bread. After I saw it the only thing I could do was to shrug my shoulders and think to myself OK that is another film I have seen. In my teenage years I tried to see every film I could in particular films by the “great” film “masters” and I had seen A Clockwork Orange in 1972 in Muncie, Indiana. Star Wars seemed dreadfully juvenile to me next to the Kubrick film. Rather like the Sunday morning cartoons and serials I used to watch on Dallas TV in the sixties because there was nothing else on.

I have always suspected that age and cultural contexts have something to do with faith in George and with the enjoyment or lack of enjoyment of films in general. I was someone who had seen many classic Hollywood films and even a number of foreign films before SW. As a result, I suspect, I didn't respond to Star Wars as many younger contemporaries who adored the film with an almost religious like devotion (the construction of meaning) and who seem to have lived with that memory ever since and who have defined Lucas after SW in that ideological context.

By the way, I do like and did enjoy one Lucas film, American Graffiti. I haven't seen it in twenty or so years, however, so I don't know how I would "read" it these days.

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