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Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Around and around she goes... 

Basically commenting here because the relevant blog doesn't have a Comments section I can add to...

It all starts here, with Dorian's rather entertaining and smart post on the absurdities of nostalgia. I responded in kind, to defend Star Wars Episodes I and II from the Star Wars fans with a maniacal (and rather silly) "devotion" to the original trilogy, as if enjoying both trilogies is in some way hypocritical.

This guy here responds:

I'm no big Star Wars fan, but that point doesn't make much sense to me, at least not as an indictment of Lucas.

Well, that's good. Because I wasn't indicting Lucas. I was attempting to put some perspective into the SW fans who have none.

Then the guy, who (don't get me wrong) seems to be pretty sharp, doubles back on his own counterargument. He attempts to say that being innovative is the same as being a masterful film, and counters my "if Episode IV came out today, it'd make $60 mil and disappear forever" comment:

It's only when you compare CK with the films of its time that can you see it for what it is. That doesn't mean it wasn't masterful filmmaking... quite to the contrary, that's precisely what establishes the movie's greatness. It provided the shoulders upon which further greatness has perched.

Either I made my point badly, or it just wasn't received. The technological innovations of Star Wars are absolutely undeniable; and whether the original movie revitalized blockbuster filmmaking or doomed artistic creativity in film forever is still up for debate. That's a big contribution to film. I'm not denying that. I'd be crazy to.

But the first film's technique is sloppy, choppy, only moderately-well acted and generally bears the hallmarks of a bright but undisciplined semi-pro. Overflowing imagination filtered through as-yet unhoned technique. Critics panned the shit out of Episode IV when it came out, you know; they were focusing on the mediocre form while blind to the wild imagination playing out in front of them.

The technique of the film, its mastery of the storytelling form, rates a B- at best.

The point is, being innovative at the time is masterful filmmaking.

I disagree, at least when I'm defining the term "masterful filmmaking" to mean... masterful filmmaking.

Cue rampage by angry Star Wars fans who will entirely miss the point of this...

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