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March 1995, Week 3


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edwin jahiel <[log in to unmask]>
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Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Thu, 16 Mar 1995 15:41:16 CST
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[From the last part of an interview with George Lucas--by Bernard Weinraub,
New York Times, 29 October 1994]
"When I began, you'd go to a studio and there'd be three or four people and
they'd say 'OK do the movie or "Don't do the movie"" Mr. Lucas recalled.
"That was the 70's" he continued." But once corporations and Wall Street
took over, their way of operating was to create a huge, middle-management
structure. These are people more interested in stock options than in making
good movies, people earning large amounts of money and pretending that they
were experts in making movies --and they weren't."
"And they began to look on the people who made movies as sort of assembly
line workers. They fostered the idea that the talent  are idiots, or idiot
savants. I mean it's crazy. And you end up with bland and uninteresting and
bad movies."
Mr. Lucas acknowledged that he wqas gloomy about the state of cinema. " The
system will only accept certain things now," he said. "The only pictures
that are ' go ' pictures are ones that a lot of intelligent directors look
at and say, "Well, this is a piece of junk, but I've got to work."
"Ad creative people - those who want to develop their own thing - are
having a harder and harder time because how can you work in a system where
you have 15 recent college graduates who are a vice president of this or
that telling you to change your movie,"
Mr. Lucas laughed and said: "You have these inane meetings where you're
making a pitch for a particular thematic idea, and they don't get it and
they say,  'So where's the fun factor?' Or they say ' I took my course at
U.C.L.A. and it said you're supposed to have a crisis on page 47, so
where's the crisis?'"
[Mr.Weinraub follows George Lucas to a dining room where Lucas has a veggie
sandwich. Historians and biographers,take note]
The only movies that succeed and endure on a large scale are family films,
he said. Mr. Lucas, who is divorced, has three children [...] who live with
him. (His home is several miles from the ranch.)
"I mean,the studio's idea of a children's film is ' Free Willy," and that's
not it," he said. The films that endure, he said,  are those that transcend
age: "E.T., " "Star Wars," "The Lion King" and "Gone With the Wind."
"That's a great children's film. It deals with basic values that people
cope with. It's not some cynical, relentless action fest. It's not hip.
It's not flash. Just a great film,"
[End of article]