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Star wars documentary...What?

Old 09-18-04, 05:28 AM
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Star wars documentary...WTF?

Just a little point I thought I would make about the Empire Of Dreams doc on the SW package.

As good as the main making of doc is, is does have this "Lucas changed the face of moviemaking for the better" attitude running through it. It begins with an interview with Walter Cronkite, obviously intending to add some validity to this approach. It then goes on to say that before SW, the movie industry was in a depressed state, producing vey "downbeat" fare...but along came Lucas and saved it.

Oh really? So all those early/mid 70's classic movies like Godfather, Chinatown, French Connection, Exorcist et al were downbeat and depressing, and George came along and saved us from all that?

Now I like the SW movies, but I do think that they were a double edged sword in terms of the way they changed the face of moviemaking, so the tone of the doc irked me somewhat in this respect.

But...apart from these quibbles the package is excellent, so to those awaiting their copies, enjoy, but I would also be interested to hear others opinions on the whole subject.
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Old 09-18-04, 06:39 AM
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It's a documentary about STAR WARS.. Not film history of the 70's. This is like watching your local baseball team play in another teams stadium and then saying "WTF" when you hear the color commentary in favor of the home team. Of course they are going to play up and praise star wars. That is a given.
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Old 09-18-04, 07:18 AM
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um... let's see:
Godfather - movie about a crime family
Chinatown - movie about adultry and murder
French Connection - move about drugs and murder
Exorcist - movie about demonic possession
Yep real upbeat stuff there

Seriously I see the point you are trying to make though and I have to say I agree /w Jack on this one. Didn't the Indy documentaries pretty say Raiders pretty much revolutionized the action/adventure genre too? 12 Monkeys (ala The Hamster Factor) brought sci-fi/thrillers to a whole new level as well right?
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Old 09-18-04, 07:58 AM
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I don't remember The Hamster Factor trumping up 12 Monkeys that much, but it has been a while since I saw it.
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Old 09-18-04, 08:24 AM
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It's been awhile since I've seen it too so I might be misremembering as well
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Old 09-18-04, 09:17 AM
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is does have this "Lucas changed the face of moviemaking for the better" attitude running through it.
Well, you put the word better. I think Lucas has changed the face of moviemaking for the better, in a lot of areas. But I never saw the word better in the documentary. It basically has a vibe that Lucas and Star Wars changed the film industry and the way films were made. That is in fact the truth. There's no lying in that statement. In fact, the studio system was in decay, and Star Wars did indeed reinvigorate it.

So all those early/mid 70's classic movies like Godfather, Chinatown, French Connection, Exorcist et al were downbeat and depressing, and George came along and saved us from all that?
None of those films were even mentioned, and nowhere in the documentary did it imply what you said. All it said was that before Star Wars, movies tended to be downbeat because of the times. There were a lot of disaster movies. Again, that's true.

Seems to me you saw things that weren't actually in the doc.
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Old 09-18-04, 09:21 AM
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So all those early/mid 70's classic movies like Godfather, Chinatown, French Connection, Exorcist et al were downbeat and depressing, and George came along and saved us from all that?
Pretty much. Star Wars brought back the era of heros. The 70s were fullof anti-heros (Taxi Driver).

Heck, even Rocky, probably the most typical 'movie hero' of the 70s till Star Wars -- was a loser. The best he could do was a draw.
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Old 09-18-04, 10:00 AM
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Actually to add fuel to that fire Rocky lost- it wasnt a draw technically- he lost by decision too (just because you're still standing at the end doesnt mean the bout was a true "draw")
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Old 09-18-04, 10:18 AM
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Originally posted by Terrell
None of those films were even mentioned, and nowhere in the documentary did it imply what you said.
Actually, a poster for Chinatown was shown when the narration was talking about downbeat films.
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Old 09-18-04, 12:47 PM
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Well, Chinatown is a downbeat film.

Star Wars did change the way studios made movies. It reinvigorated the sci-fi genre, it revolutionized special effects, it allowed studios to see the glories of movie merchandise, and may have made Hollywood even more about making money. You watch documentaries about the world of filmmaking on the 70s (such as A Decade Under the Influence) and they tell you that the 70s were a time where independent films and non-commercial films were celebrated. They all seem to agree that with the coming of Jaws and Star Wars, the industry changed. Whether that was for the better or for the worse is up to you.
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Old 09-18-04, 03:10 PM
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Re: Star wars documentary...WTF?

Originally posted by JM1
Just a little point I thought I would make about the Empire Of Dreams doc on the SW package.

As good as the main making of doc is, is does have this "Lucas changed the face of moviemaking for the better" attitude running through it. It begins with an interview with Walter Cronkite, obviously intending to add some validity to this approach. It then goes on to say that before SW, the movie industry was in a depressed state, producing vey "downbeat" fare...but along came Lucas and saved it.

Oh really? So all those early/mid 70's classic movies like Godfather, Chinatown, French Connection, Exorcist et al were downbeat and depressing, and George came along and saved us from all that?

Now I like the SW movies, but I do think that they were a double edged sword in terms of the way they changed the face of moviemaking, so the tone of the doc irked me somewhat in this respect.

But...apart from these quibbles the package is excellent, so to those awaiting their copies, enjoy, but I would also be interested to hear others opinions on the whole subject.
So what? This is a self promotional piece created for the DVDs by Lucasfilm. It's not as if an independet film maker made the documentary and Lucas decided to tack it on. As a self promotional piece, why shouldn't Lucas toot his own horn a bit?

And also, since when do people mind documentaries that present one-sided, twisted views based on the politics and personal beliefs of the person sinking the money into the project? Everybody celebrates Farenheit 9-11 as a masterpiece, for example.

If you want to give your own view of Star Wars and it's impact on the movie world, make your own doc. Don't expect something Lucas put on his own DVD and made himself to present his work in a negative light. Who would do that? I'd have a problem if he did do that.

Last edited by calhoun07; 09-18-04 at 03:40 PM.
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Old 09-18-04, 03:23 PM
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Complaints like this just reinforce my thinking that some people really are just looking for stuff NOT to like about Star Wars. Why, I'll never know.
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Old 09-18-04, 03:56 PM
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I agree with you Kal-El, people really just want something to bitch about in the trilogy. Besides "tooting it's own horn" like any bonus feature for any dvd will, it was good for the original poster? then that's all that should matter.
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Old 09-18-04, 05:06 PM
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The doc is a Lucas-love piece, but damn, it was exciting to see all of that old footage. I haven't been as excited by something on television in a long time.

Can't wait for the DVD to see the other hour or so of extra footage.
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Old 09-18-04, 06:00 PM
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Re: Re: Star wars documentary...WTF?

Originally posted by calhoun07
And also, since when do people mind documentaries that present one-sided, twisted views based on the politics and personal beliefs of the person sinking the money into the project? Everybody celebrates Farenheit 9-11 as a masterpiece, for example.
Which just baffles my mind since F-9/11 is pure propaganda that has been almost 100% debunked by numerous sources. "Out Foxed" falls into the same boat IMO.

I just watched THX 1138 this morning and I found myself laughing at some of the impending "paranoia" about the corporate consumerist future. As was said in the liner notes on the inside flap that the future that was thought about back in 1970 is no where near what we've got now, now that we're in the 21st Century. Lucas said that now we're in the 21st Century, things haven't changed much.
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Old 09-18-04, 06:13 PM
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Oh fuck. This mixes the worse of all worlds. Star wars complaining and now moore bashing. What next? "NO INSERT?!!!!" comments?
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Old 09-18-04, 06:14 PM
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Re: Re: Re: Star wars documentary...WTF?

Originally posted by Mike Lowrey
Which just baffles my mind since F-9/11 is pure propaganda that has been almost 100% debunked by numerous sources. "Out Foxed" falls into the same boat IMO.
I would love to see these sources that have debunked 100% of Farenheit 9-11 and see how factual they are.

I agree Moore twists some things in the story that if looked at differently would not favor his point of view 100% and there is some flat out wrong information in the documentary, but to say the whole documentary is lies is, well a lie. I have looked up some of the things mentioned in the documentary and much of the evidence he presents is out there and researchable.

BTW, using a documentary that twists the truth against Karl Rove and George W Bush is about as poetic of justice as I can imagine. Rove is the master of twisting the truth around 180 degrees. He built this presidency on it.

As far as the Star Wars doc. It had better talk about the movie like it was a major milestone. One, because the movie was a major milestone and Two, the doc is supposed to be biased towards the movie it is representing.

Last edited by darkside; 09-18-04 at 06:16 PM.
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Old 09-18-04, 08:59 PM
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OH MY GOD.

I'm speechless.

How does a Star Wars thread degrade into a Michael Moore vs. George W. Bush thread? I've read the entire thread three times and still don't understand. Please.

It's not unusual for a documentary about a movie (or three) contained within the same set as the movie itself to praise its subject. I'd be surprised, though, if the doc. is as pro-Lucas, yay!-Star Wars as reported by JM1. It was billed as about as warts-and-all as an official doc. could get.

The claim seems to hold truth, though, that Star Wars introduced the popcorn movie and the "white hat" hero into 1970s American cinema.

Unlike Coppola, Polanski, Scorsese, and the other directors metioned, Lucas didn't seem willing to sympathize with the dark side of man (pun unintended). There's an absolute Truth, a right and wrong in the Star Wars films. Even with eps. I-III, about the evolution of Anakin into Darth Vader, Lucas isn't sympathizing. In Episode II, Lucas makes it clear that choosing Dark Side is the absolutely wrong, and causes suffering.

Lucas is a optimistic opposite to the 70s cynicists. Maybe Spielberg bridges the gap. Lucas's influence on big-budget action pictures is just as strong as say, Scorsese's influence on low- budget, independent dramas.

cheers.

-the Jesus
(patiently waiting until Tuesday)
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Old 09-19-04, 07:17 AM
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Wait a minute.

Let me get this straight.

Are you saying that there are no inserts in the Star Wars Trilogy DVDs?
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Old 09-19-04, 07:24 AM
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Keep it on topic, please.
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Old 09-19-04, 07:38 AM
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I think you mean, STAY ON TARGET. um.. yeah...

Anyhow, I don't see why anyone would be surprised that a doc on the dvd would be kissing major lucas ass. From most dvd extras it's always been the case with very few that actually are allowed to say anything bad.
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Old 09-19-04, 01:10 PM
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