Not as scholarly or high-minded as the Bright Lights piece, but an enjoyable read nonetheless:
Archive for August, 2016
It’s not apparent from this Amazon listing for a prequel trilogy graphic novel pre-order, due out in April 2017, whether this is the comics adaptations of Eps I-III collected in a single volume or if this is something totally new. One clue that it could be the latter is that the publisher isn’t Marvel Comics, but Disney Lucasfilm Press. Of course that could be totally wrong. We’ll just have to see.
Linda sent along a link to this article from Bright Lights Film Journal, which asserts that ROTS is George Lucas’s greatest artistic achievement:
Given the newly expansive potential afforded by digital technology, Lucas is no longer limited to simple filmic references. In Revenge of the Sith, he boldly visualizes his interests in classical mythology and literature; to be sure, the prequels recall the tragedies of Shakespeare, perhaps most evidently in Palpatine’s similarities to Othello’s Iago. However, Lucas digs deeper and further into the past when he depicts Anakin and Obi-Wan Kenobi duelling across the volcanic vistas of Mustafar. When discussing this scene, it is crucial to acknowledge Camille Paglia’s wonderful and laudatory piece in Glittering Images. Indeed, it is in this scene that the film’s awe-striking and unprecedented anachronism totally takes over: painting his images digitally, Lucas taps into our knowledge of Dante, of the legend of Faust, the Christian Hell and the Greek Hades, of the metaphoric burning of Icarus’s wings in the form of Anakin’s smoldering body. Appropriately, John Williams’s score moves further from Korngold-echoing whimsy with each successive prequel, and in Sith it acquires operatic overtones. Never one to divide “high” art from “low,” Lucas draws from every available well of visual representation to craft this uniquely digital genre entertainment, a film that is broadly drawn in its emotional strokes but rigorous in its cinematic grammar.
Go read this from someone who apparently really knows cinema and appreciates it.
Trevor Noah, host of Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show,” dropped by The Star Wars Show’s studios to chat about what else, Star Wars. Noah says the first Star Wars film he ever saw was TPM and he absolutely loved it and he loved Jar Jar. “To me he’s rock and roll.” Heh heh.
The interview starts three minutes into the show.
Glad to hear Dave Filoni smacked some sense back into him:
Inverse posted an interview with the director of “The Prequels Strike Back” and it occurred to me a kind of new narrative is taking shape concerning the films. It’s not the dominant geek/media industrial complex’s narrative yet but I’ve noticed it becoming more common. That narrative is the prequels were ambitious, had good or at least interesting ideas, and creative but (and there’s always a “but”) they weren’t executed all of that well.
I think this narrative is arising due primarily to two factors:
1. The effect of Mike Klimo’s Ring Theory. Since it was posted in late 2014, numerous people have come to recognize the many cogs and wheels that make the saga work together.
2. TFA’s effect on perceptions of the prequels. Those who spent years disliking the prequels but still found fault with TFA needed a new take on their arguments. The old arguments that the prequels were entirely created on computer have been debunked to all but the willfully ignorant; in fact Slashfilm revealed in an interview the other day that there was no model work at all in TFA and it had far more CG shots than TPM.
Now after all of this time I suppose you might find it encouraging there is starting to be concession that the prequels have some value. However I don’t think it’s good enough. They are still holding on to the idea that the movies are “bad” or at least greatly inferior to the OT. It’s still repeated over and over in the media that the prequels are terrible and universally-hated. We still have a long way to go to reach the point where the prequels and we as fans get the respect long due.
It is certainly a positive development to see stuff like the Ring Theory out there and others delving into the meaning of the prequels, what they did to deepen the mythology, and what they can teach us. They’ve been helpful to those open enough to read or listen to those analyses. The problem is that analysis of the story is one thing, but the quality of how that story is expressed is another and it’s that aspect of the prequels that gets attacked the most. What’s really needed to help the prequels is to put forth the idea that they are exceptionally well-crafted, well-executed films.
One person who has done this is Camille Paglia in her book “Glittering Images.” But there needs to be more people out there with the courage to say these are deserving works of art and can express why. I have been doing that series “Great Scenes of the Prequel Trilogy” for this very reason: I write about why I think the acting, the score, the cinematography, etc. work in a particular scene. There’s also the prequel frames Tumblr. Such takes on the films need to be full-throated and without apology but also without a defensive tone.
Of course not everyone is going to be convinced but we can start to turn the bandwagon around.
A South African site posted sometime last year some fun facts about AOTC. One of them is super obvious (are there real Kaminoans they could’ve cast?) but the others I hadn’t heard before or have slipped into the memory hole.
Hey SWPAS nation,
I’m trying to figure out the demographics of the people who read this site, so I came up with this completely unscientific poll you can take here. It’s just asking ages. It’s one question and it’s anonymous. I’ve already posted the link on the SWPAS Facebook page and I will repost on Tumblr.
starwars.com recently posted a couple of things of interest. First is Amy Ratcliffe’s Six Great Clone Trooper Quotes, her list of memorable clone trooper quotes from The Clone Wars and Rebels.
Then there is Bryan Young’s latest installment of The Cinema Behind Star Wars, a look at Luc Besson’s 1994 film “The Professional,” which of course gave the world Natalie Portman.