The People vs. George Lucas

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The People vs. George Lucas
The People vs. George Lucas.jpg
Directed by Alexandre O. Philippe
Produced by Anna Higgs
Gavin Humphries
Shannon Muchow
Robert Muratore
Vanessa Philippe
Kerry Deignan Roy
Music by Jon Hegel
Cinematography Robert Muratore
Edited by Chad Herschberger
Production
company
Exhibit A Pictures
Quark Films
Release dates
  • March 14, 2010 (2010-03-14) (SXSW)
Running time 92 minutes
Country United States
Language English

The People vs. George Lucas is a 2010 documentary/comedy film which explores the issues of filmmaking and fanaticism pertaining to the Star Wars franchise and its creator, George Lucas. The film combines filmmaker and celebrity interviews with fan films which were submitted via the film's site.

Interviewees include a variety of figures such as Neil Gaiman, MC Frontalot and Gary Kurtz. Lucas himself appears frequently in archival footage but is never interviewed directly. The film discusses the extent to which the Star Wars franchise is an artistic creation of Lucas and subject to his vision versus a social phenomenon that belongs to the general public of fans and their participatory/remix culture. The film is dedicated to interviewee Jason Nicholl, a blogger at nukethefridge.com who died before the film's release.

The DVD was released on October 25, 2011.[1]

A sequel, titled The People vs. George Lucas - Episode II, is scheduled for a December 2015 release.[2]

Background and contents[edit]

Director Alexandre Philippe, a lifetime Star Wars fan from his early childhood, has said that the film was not meant to be one-sided against Lucas, although the title has often created that interpretation. He instead aims at showing both sides evenhandedly to explore to what extent the Star Wars franchise is controlled by Lucas versus something morally held by the public. Philippe believes Lucas is a relatively talented director and an "ideas man" based on the original Star Wars trilogy, THX 1138 and American Graffiti. However, Philippe dislikes the changes made by Lucas in re-releases of the original trilogy as well as the prequel trilogy.[3][4]

Philippe thinks that fans deserve and ought to receive a complete re-mastering and re-release of the original series in current formats (DVD, Blu-ray, etc.) without any changes. Philippe also states that, to his knowledge, Lucas has never seen the documentary. However, Philippe has said that he would love to hold a private screening at Skywalker Ranch.[3][4]

The film begins with a brief history of Lucas' career leading up to the release of A New Hope in 1977. The rest of the film is structured by inter-cutting interviews with all kinds of fans, academics, film critics, former colleagues of Lucas, well-known writers in the science fiction/fantasy genre and others. The narrative of the film shows the complex relationship between Lucas and his fans as well as how and why exactly the elements of the Star Wars franchise have appealed to so many people so deeply.[1]

Reviews and reception[edit]

The New York Post ran a positive review by Kyle Smith in which the film received three out of four stars.[5] AMC critic Josh Bell wrote, "People is a skillfully edited, wide-ranging look at a subject that's very close to many movie fans' hearts, part of an ongoing debate that will only gain more attention as Lucas continues to tinker with his creations."[1]

Independent critic Christian Toto praised the film and wrote that "the Force is strong with this one".[6] Salt Lake City Weekly ran a negative review by Bryan Young, who commented that the "film comes off as a one-sided attack" and that it's "not hard to talk to people who love Star Wars... the filmmakers should have tried harder to provide that balance."[7]

Slant Magazine writer Elise Nakhnikian lauded the film as "one of this year's best" documentaries. She also called it, "Smart, funny, and often impassioned."[8]

Philippe has appeared on the RedLetterMedia program "Half in the Bag" by Jay Bauman and Mike Stoklasa to discuss the film, which the interviewers praised. In a sketch, "George Lucas" broke into the interview room to assassinate Philippe by lighting a fuse to a copy of Howard the Duck (a 'bomb'). Philippe defuses the bomb and then leaves after asking Bauman and Stoklasa: "So, is this what you guys do with your lives?"[3][4]

Sequel[edit]

In June 2014 it was announced that a sequel, The People vs. George Lucas - Episode II is in development, scheduled for a December 2015 release. The film will examine what fans think of the Star Wars franchise since George Lucas sold Lucasfilm to The Walt Disney Company, and will pose the question "What does the future of Star Wars look like without George Lucas?"[9]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Bell, Josh (October 11, 2011). "The People vs. George Lucas". AMC. Retrieved December 24, 2011. 
  2. ^ Franich, Darren (June 17, 2014). "'The People vs. George Lucas 2' will focus on the 'disneyfication' of the 'Star Wars' franchise". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved August 1, 2014. 
  3. ^ a b c http://redlettermedia.com/half-in-the-bag-the-people-vs-george-lucas-and-star-wars-discussion/
  4. ^ a b c http://redlettermedia.com/half-in-the-bag-the-people-vs-george-lucas-and-star-wars-discussion-part-2/
  5. ^ Kyle Smith (May 5, 2011). "The People vs. George Lucas". The New York Post. Retrieved December 24, 2011. 
  6. ^ Toto, Christian. "SDFF Review: ‘The People vs. George Lucas’". whatwouldtotowatch.com. Retrieved December 24, 2011. 
  7. ^ Young, Bryan (December 6, 2011). "The People vs. George Lucas". Salt Lake City Weekly. Retrieved December 24, 2011. 
  8. ^ http://www.siskelfilmcenter.org/peoplevslucas
  9. ^ Franich, Darren (June 17, 2014). "'The People vs. George Lucas 2' will focus on the 'disneyfication' of the 'Star Wars' franchise". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved August 1, 2014. 

External links[edit]