Lucas cu prietena lui de aproximativ cinci ani, Mellody Hobson, la proiectia de la Chicago din 6 ianuarie Creditul … Marvin Orellana pentru The New York Times
Acesta a fost un sentiment nou pentru George Lucas. A realizat un film despre o trupa plina de luptatori pentru libertate care lupta impotriva unui imperiu malefic – un film incarcat cu efecte speciale ca nimeni nu vazuse pana acum. Apoi a aratat-o directorilor din toate studiourile de la Hollywood. Si fiecare dintre ei a spus: „Nu”.
Directorii unui studio nici macar nu s-au prezentat la proiectie. „Nu este treaba lor?” Spune Lucas, uimit. „Nu este treaba lor cel putin sa vada filme? Nu este ca si cum un copil Sundance ar veni acolo si ar spune: “Am acest mic film – l-ati vedea?” Daca Steven (Spielberg) sau eu, Jim Cameron sau Bob Zemeckis intram acolo si ei spun: „Nici macar nu vrem sa ne deranjam sa o vedem. . . . ‘ ”
Lucas ofteaza. despre curve Este adevarat ca filmul, „Cozi rosii”, este mai degraba un biopic despre aviatorii Tuskegee decat o opera spatiala cu clanul Skywalker. Dar dezacordul a sugerat ca garantia pop-culturii lui Lucas – sase filme „Razboiul Stelelor”, patru filme „Indiana Jones”, magazinul de efecte Lumina industriala si magie si licente de jucarie care vindeau (cel putin) patru sabii de lumina diferite in acest Craciun – practic lipsit de valoare. Cand „Red Tails” se va deschide in cinematografe pe 20 ianuarie, se va intampla pentru ca Lucas a platit pentru tot, inclusiv pentru tiparituri.
Lucas, care are 67 de ani si inca este in posesia pompadourului complet, mi-a spus povestea lui de respingere intr-o dimineata rece de decembrie la Skywalker Ranch, in judetul Marin, California. Statea pe o canapea maronie in studiourile de animatie, imbracata cu standardul sau. tinuta miliardara-casual – o camasa de flanela cu maneci suflecate, blugi si nise – in timp ce Padme Amidala, eroina prequelurilor „Razboiului Stelelor”, a privit in jos din doua tablouri aranjate de ambele parti ale capului.
„Ma retrag”, a spus Lucas. „Ma indepartez de afacere, de companie, de toate aceste lucruri.”
A avut grija sa-si lase o clauza pentru un al cincilea film „Indiana Jones”. In caz contrar, „Red Tails” va fi ultimul blockbuster pe care il face Lucas. „Odata ce acest lucru este terminat, a facut tot ce si-a dorit vreodata”, spune Rick McCallum, care produce filme Lucas de mai bine de 20 de ani. „El isi va fi indeplinit sarcina de om si regizor.”
Lucas a decis sa isi dedice restul vietii ceea ce cineastele din anii 1970 numeau filme personale. Vor fi de dimensiuni reduse, subiect ezoteric si ecranizate mai ales in case de arta. curve in baia mare Vor fi ca filmele experimentale pe care Lucas le-a facut in anii 1960, pe vremea cand se afla la scoala de film USC, cand a inregistrat nori care se miscau peste desert si a facut un film bazat pe un poem EE Cummings. In acea perioada, Lucas a presupus ca isi va petrece cariera la margini. Apoi s-a intamplat „Razboiul Stelelor” – si, desi Lucas a cugetat adesea la asta, el nu s-a angajat niciodata in lumea necomerciala pana acum.
Asezat intr-un birou plin de soare, cu vocea baietela, Lucas a vorbit despre sine ca si cum ar fi un personaj intr-unul din filmele sale. El este la sfarsitul unei saga epice; imbratiseaza un nou destin („Fa filme de arta, George”); se lupta cu fosti acoliti care au devenit dusmanii sai jurati; iar George Lucas este – nu glumeste – indragostit. Inainte de a-si lua camera digitala cu el in obscuritate, Lucas are insa o ultima misiune. Vrea sa demonstreze ca, cu „Cozi rosii”, el poate face totusi genul de film pe care toata lumea din lume va dori sa il vada.
Cu putin mai mult de o saptamana inainte de intalnirea noastra de la ferma, Lucas statea in fata ecranului intr-un teatru plin in Times Square. O armata de brokeri de putere afro-americani il privea de sus de pe scaunele stadionului. Richard Parsons era acolo. Spike Lee. David Dinkins. Al Sharpton. Desiree Rogers, fosta secretara sociala a Casei Albe. matrimoniale publi24.ro Lee Daniels, regizorul filmului „Precious”.
Lucas isi purta uniforma traditionala de blugi si un nasture – dar de data aceasta cu o haina neagra de casmir, una infloritoare pe care Lucasite a acordat-o lui Mellody Hobson, iubita lui Lucas de aproximativ cinci ani, care este presedintele unuia dintre cei mai mari africani – Firmele americane de administrare a activelor din tara. Ea statea langa el, in timp ce Lucas le spunea multimii despre planul lui de a razbuna discordia studiourilor. (20th Century Fox a fost in cele din urma de acord sa distribuie filmul pe plan intern, dar nu va plati niciunul dintre costuri.) Lucas, intr-o dispozitie jucausa, a declarat ca un weekend imens de deschidere ii va convinge pe studiouri sa finanteze un al doilea film „Red Tails” – un prequel – „O sa faca Spike Lee!” Din multime, Lee a strigat: „Cand incepem?” Lucas a continuat: „Si putem face pe altcineva – Lee Daniels – sa faca continuarea!”
All preview screenings are wildly optimistic celebrations of the possible. But this was different. This was a rally. “On Jan. 20,” an 89-year-old Tuskegee pilot named Roscoe C. Brown Jr., told the crowd, “every African-American in this country ought to go see ‘Red Tails.’ ” Desiree Rogers, who is now C.E.O. matrimoniale franta of Johnson Publishing Company, said she was splashing “Red Tails” on the cover of Ebony. And Al Sharpton, sounding like a “Star Wars” fanboy in 1977, later insisted that “it’s probably one of the best movies I’ve ever seen!”
Lucas first heard the story of the Tuskegee Airmen from a friend, the photographer George Hall, in 1988. It appealed on a visceral level — “I’m a fan of fast things” — and also because, despite criticism that “Star Wars” was too white, Lucas has always had an interest in civil rights. Back in the 1970s, Lucas almost cast an African-American as Han Solo (Glynn Turman, who played the first Baltimore mayor in “The Wire”).
Most important, though, the airmen, World War II pilots who won nearly 100 Distinguished Flying Crosses, fit perfectly in Lucas’s mythic-heroic view finder. If there’s a through line in the “Star Wars” and “Indiana Jones” movies, it’s a childlike view of heroism. “Star Wars,” with its CliffsNotes Joseph Campbell formula, was a rejection of 1970s gloom; two decades later, the prequel movies were more innocent than “Harry Potter” and “The Lord of the Rings.” Lucas’s films are relentlessly — and to some, maddeningly — old-fashioned and naive. “If it’s a popcorn movie,” Lucas told me, “it needs a lot of corn.”
Tuskegee Airmen — Oscar Lawton Wilkerson, Ben Dunjill and Milton Williams — at a screening of “Red Tails” in Chicago.Credit…Marvin Orellana for The New York Times
The first “Red Tails” scripts, which Lucas began commissioning in the early 1990s, suggested a three-part epic. curve film online Imagine the opening scenes in segregated Alabama, where one of the original Tuskegee instructors takes Eleanor Roosevelt for a spin; then picture the airborne dogfights over Europe, with slick visual effects from Industrial Light and Magic; and finally, in an irony worthy of Ralph Ellison, envision the war heroes returning home to find that the country they fought for is still in the clammy hands of Jim Crow. “You think ‘Lawrence of Arabia,’ you think ‘The Bridge on the River Kwai,’ ” Rick McCallum says. “Then you think, Oh, my God, ‘Red Tails.’ ”
“I can’t make that movie,” Lucas recalled thinking when he read the scripts. “I’m going to have make this kind of . . . entertainment movie.” So Lucas focused on the middle chapter: the dogfights and the Nazi-hunting black pilots who shout, “How you like that, Mr. Hitler!” (When I mention Lucas’s naive style to Michael Bay, the director of the “Transformers” movies, he says sympathetically, “That’s what I get crap for from my critics.”)
For a model, Lucas studied flag-waving World War II films like Nicholas Ray’s “Flying Leathernecks,” which starred John Wayne. “We made movies like this during the war, and everybody just loved them,” he said. “I said, ‘There’s no reason why that idealism, that kind of naivete, can’t still exist.’ ” But Lucas wanted naivete on his own terms. curve din barlad He slipped into a kind of Socratic conversation with an imaginary studio head.
“They say, Now, who are you making this for?”
“I’m making it for black teenagers.”
“And you’re doing it as a throwback movie? You’re not going to do it as a hip, happening-now, music-video kind of movie?”
“No, that’s not a smart thing to do. There’s not really going to be a lot of swearing in it. There’s probably not going to be a huge amount of blood in it. Nobody’s head’s going to get blown off.”
“And you’re going to be very patriotic — you’re making a black movie that’s patriotic?”
“They have a right to have their history just like anybody else does,” Lucas said. “And they have a right to have it kind of Hollywood-ized and aggrandized and made corny and wonderful just like anybody else does. Even if that’s not the fashion right now.”
The key then to understanding Lucas’s last blockbuster, like his first, is not how futuristic he’s making it but how retrograde.
REVENGE OF THE FANBOYS
Since 1997, the year Lucas released his special editions of the original “Star Wars” movies in theaters, he has been attacked by the very fans who once embraced his heroic style. They didn’t like how Lucas changed the old movies; they didn’t like the prequels, which seemed wooden and juvenile; and the Star Wars merchandising blitz they once gorged on had begun to drive them nuts. (All six “Star Wars” films will return to theaters in 3-D, beginning in February.)
“I think there are a lot more important things in the world” than feuds with fanboys, Lucas says with a kind of weary diffidence. escorte mureș But then he gets serious, even a little wounded. Lucas explains that his first major features — “THX 1138” and “American Graffiti” — were forcibly re-edited by the studios. Those were wrenching experiences he has compared to someone keying your car (he loves cars) or chopping a finger off one of your children (he has three and loves them too). Afterward, Lucas set out to gain financial independence so the final cut would forever be his. “If the movie doesn’t work,” he vowed, “it’s going to be my fault.”
In the last decade and a half, Lucas has given “Star Wars” several “final” cuts. For the 1997 special edition, he made Greedo, a green-skinned alien, fire his blaster at Han Solo because Han’s murdering Greedo in cold blood — as the 1977 version had it — struck him as a violation of his own naive style. For the new Blu-ray version of “Return of the Jedi,” Lucas added Darth Vader shouting, “Nooo!” as he seizes the evil emperor in the movie’s climactic scene. Lucas made the Ewoks blink. And so forth.
When fanboys wailed, Lucas did not just hear the scream of young Jedis; he heard something like the voice of the studio. The dumb, uncomprehending voice in his Socratic dialogues — a voice telling him how to make a blockbuster. “On the Internet, all those same guys that are complaining I made a change are completely changing the movie,” Lucas says, referring to fans who, like the dreaded studios, have done their own forcible re-edits. “I’m saying: ‘Fine. blackberry curve But my movie, with my name on it, that says I did it, needs to be the way I want it.’ ”
Lucas seized control of his movies from the studios only to discover that the fanboys could still give him script notes. “Why would I make any more,” Lucas says of the “Star Wars” movies, “when everybody yells at you all the time and says what a terrible person you are?”
THE BLUE PEOPLE
After downing a few Grey Goose tonics at New York’s Royalton hotel, Cuba Gooding Jr., one of the stars of “Red Tails,” came up with a rejoinder to all the people who turned down the project. “I like to say James Cameron made a movie just like this,” he said excitedly. “Instead of black people, there were blue people being held down by white people. It was called ‘Avatar!’ And the studios said the same thing to him: ‘We can’t do a movie with blue people!’ ”
Posters for never-to-be-made movies about George Lucas’s reasons for leaving blockbusters behind.Credit…Illustrations by Brandon Schaefer
THE JOHN WAYNE TREATMENT
To execute his popcorn vision of “Red Tails,” Lucas turned to Anthony Hemingway, a 36-year-old director who made his name on TV shows like “The Wire.” Hemingway, who had never directed a feature film, comes from the church of David Simon, which values moral murkiness over naivete, documentary detail about East Baltimore over an ethnography of the Ewok village. It was like hiring a “Hill Street Blues” veteran to direct “Return of the Jedi.”
But from the beginning, Lucas wanted “Red Tails” to have a black director. curve imagini “I thought, This is the proper way to do this,” he said. Indeed, to scan the credits in “Red Tails” is to see Lucas’s fidelity to African-American filmmakers. There are two black writers and a black executive producer. Terence Blanchard, a Spike Lee collaborator (“Jungle Fever,” “Malcolm X”), wrote the score, and Art Sims, another Lee veteran, designed the one-sheet.
Hemingway couldn’t believe he was working with Lucas. At the end of their first interview, the director turned to Lucas and said, “May the force be with you.” (Hemingway told me that afterward he was so embarrassed, he felt like jumping out of a window.) When Hemingway got the call telling him he’d been hired to direct the next George Lucas movie, he pulled over to the side of the road and began to cry.
Still, he wasn’t sure Lucas was taking this film in the right direction. “I always felt it was much more of a mature film,” Hemingway said. “I felt if you’re going after kids, you have to go through the back door.” But Lucas persuaded him that if they made “Red Tails” as a kids’ picture, at some primal, emotional level, they would connect with the adult fanboys.
“Red Tails” is dominated by plane-to-plane combat (“an hour’s worth of fighting,” Lucas says) that is as impressive as any put on screen. But the movie’s heart is in the relationship between two pilots, Marty “Easy” Julian (Nate Parker) and Joe “Lightning” Little (David Oyelowo). cele mai tari curve As their nicknames suggest, Easy respects army brass and plays by the rules; Lightning bristles at authority and blows up German warships when he chooses. Hemingway told Parker and Oyelowo to imagine they were portraying the famous cleavage in the civil rights movement. “The theme that consistently came up,” Oyelowo says, “was that I was Malcolm to his Martin.”
After Hemingway finished his shoot, “Red Tails” entered a two-year postproduction phase. Hemingway returned to TV; Lucas worked on additional scenes and effects. The movie still felt a tad reverent, so in early 2010, Lucas hired Aaron McGruder, the feisty creator of the Boondocks comic strip, as well as a famous “Star Wars” fan. It was an interesting decision, because McGruder was once a vocal opponent of Jar Jar Binks, the floppy-eared alien introduced in the first “Star Wars” prequel whose vocal squeaks (“Meesa your humble servant!”) reminded critics of Stepin Fetchit. One Boondocks strip showed Jar Jar with his fist in the air doing the black-power salute; another described Lucas being physically assaulted. “What do I call it when someone who ruins his own pop-culture icons is attacked by a psycho fan?” a McGruder character said. “I call it justice.”
So the man who accused Lucas of racial klutziness found himself supplying dialogue for Lucas’s Malcolm-and-Martin passion project. Lucas and McGruder spent mornings talking over scenes and dialogue. Then McGruder escaped to his Skywalker Ranch apartment, which was named for John Huston, to write new pages.
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Did the subject of Jar Jar ever come up? “I can safely say it did not,” McGruder reported. filme cu dame de companie “Not at all. Not even close.” In fact, the comic-book writer, like the “Wire” director, found himself smitten with Lucas’s popcorn vision of “Red Tails.” As McGruder put it, “One of the last things I said to George was: ‘This movie kind of represents the last barrier of equality for the black fighting man. We’ve never had the John Wayne treatment.’ ” Lucas had hit his retro-naive bull’s-eye.
THE NUCLEAR DISASTER
There’s an episode late in Lucas’s popcorn period that nicely encapsulates the break between him and his fanboys. I speak, of course, of nuking the fridge.
In 2008’s “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull,” the fourth and least-liked of the Lucas/Spielberg collaborations, Indy steps into a lead-lined refrigerator to survive a nuclear bomb. Like “jumping the shark,” “nuke the fridge” became shorthand for a creative nosedive and inspired a “South Park” episode in which Lucas and Spielberg rape their archaeologist hero. “Blame me,” Spielberg told Empire magazine last fall. “Don’t blame George. That was my silly idea.”
What the blistering fan reaction illustrates is one downside of Lucas’s naive style. curve in iasi de futut By persuading us to drop our snarky defenses and embrace his fables, Lucas had forged a bond with fanboys like no filmmaker, outside of Spielberg, before or since. (Adjusted for inflation, the three original “Star Wars” movies and “Raiders of the Lost Ark” still rank among the top 20 highest-grossing movies of all time.) But naivete is a fragile emotion. When Lucas goes back and futzes with his mythology — has Greedo shoot first or creates a goofball like Jar Jar Binks or makes Indy uncool by sticking him in a refrigerator — he isn’t just messing with beloved movies. He’s telling fanboys the naive belief they gave to him was misplaced.
“What more could one ask for than to have one’s youth back again?” Lucas once asked his biographer, Dale Pollock. Now imagine it being yanked away. If the fanboys had become like the studio to Lucas, then Lucas, to the fanboys, had become the man who breaks the bad news about adulthood. He’d become their dad.
When I told Lucas that Spielberg had accepted the blame for nuking the fridge, he looked stunned. “It’s not true,” he said. “He’s trying to protect me.”
In fact, it was Spielberg who “didn’t believe” the scene. In response to Spielberg’s fears, Lucas put together a whole nuking-the-fridge dossier. escorte sex ploiesti It was about six inches thick, he indicated with his hands. Lucas said that if the refrigerator were lead-lined, and if Indy didn’t break his neck when the fridge crashed to earth, and if he were able to get the door open, he could, in fact, survive. “The odds of surviving that refrigerator — from a lot of scientists — are about 50-50,” Lucas said.
But now we’re talking about science rather than emotions, and the Lucas magic is lost.
I mentioned to Lucas that his pal Spielberg, who released “The Adventures of Tintin” and “War Horse” in December, was directing movies as if he were raging against the dying of the light. “Steven is a born director, which is why he’s such a genius,” Lucas said of the 65-year-old Spielberg. “He’s truly a cinematic genius. But he’s like a kid with a video game. It’s like: ‘C’mon, we’re going. We’re leaving now.’ Death comes. . . . matrimoniale 4 And then Steven goes: ‘I got one more game! I got one more game!’ ”
“One day,” Lucas says, “they’re just going to unplug it and say, ‘You’ve got to go home now.’ ”
LUCAS IN LOVE
Love isn’t an emotion that gets much of a workout in the Lucas universe. But mention Lucas’s girlfriend, Mellody Hobson, and you get expressions of tender devotion that would make Han Solo blush. “They’re very much in love,” says the director and screenwriter Matthew Robbins, a pal of Lucas’s since U.S.C. “It’s the most semi-saccharine thing to be saying about your friend, but it happens to be true.”
“I’m just elated,” the Oscar-winning cinematographer Haskell Wexler says, “that in his old, rich days he’s getting some enjoyment.”
Hobson, aside from being the president of the asset-management firm Ariel Investments, is a financial analyst on “Good Morning America” and a friend of the Obamas’ and Oprah Winfrey’s. She lives in Chicago and Lucas in Northern California, but they see each other nearly every weekend. Though Lucas is a lifelong liberal — “left of the middle,” he once said — before dating Hobson, he rarely left the editing room long enough to participate in politics. Now he does. During the 2008 presidential campaign, Lucas suggested to a reporter that Obama was a Jedi knight, the highest status in the Lucas worldview. In 2009, Hobson took Lucas — wearing a tuxedo — to the White House Correspondents’ Dinner. matrimoniale barbati baia mare
“When they started going together,” Al Sharpton told me, “it was like he had started going with black America’s business princess.” Sharpton was baffled by the match until he had lunch with Lucas last year and found him “outraged” and “totally beside himself” about the rejection of “Red Tails.” Hobson, Sharpton realized, had found someone whose passion and drive were equal to hers: “It was like the coming together of two volcanoes!”
When I asked about Hobson, Lucas said, “I’m a ’60s, West Coast, liberal, radical, artsy, dyed-in-the-wool 99 percenter before there was such a thing.” (He was referring to his upbringing rather than his reported $3.2 billion net worth.) “And she’s an East Coast, Princeton grad, Wall Street fund manager, knows all the big players, works in the big world. You would never think that we would get together, have anything in common. But when we did, we realized we had everything in common. It was the most unlikely coupling.”
The operative metaphor isn’t Han Solo’s sly courtship of Princess Leia. It’s Richard Dreyfuss staring slack-jawed at Suzanne Somers in “American Graffiti.” “I was attracted to her,” Lucas continues, “because she’s really, really smart. . . publi 24 escorte craiova . If you’re more beautiful than I am and smarter than I am and you’ll put up with me, that’s all it takes. I’m there.”
THE WHITE PEOPLE
Last October, Lucas slipped incognito into the first “Red Tails” test screening in Atlanta. He and McCallum huddled together nervously among throngs of teenage boys. When the lights went down, Lucas muttered, “Let the games begin. . . .”
Lucas a primit un raport din primele proiectii de testare „Cozi rosii” care l-au lovit. Trei sau patru copii albi fusesera zariti strigand: „Sunt usor!” „Nu, sunt usor. Esti Fulger! ” Devenisera eroii „cozilor rosii”: Easy and Lightning, Malcolm si Martin. „Linia finala a fost aceea de a avea un grup de baieti albi de 10 ani care sa spuna:„ Vreau sa fiu ca acei tipi ”, spune Lucas. „Care este ceea ce primesti cu sportul. escorte guide Ceea ce obtineti cu muzica. Am vrut sa o fac doar cu cetatenia americana. Din nou, asta e banal. ”
Lucas era extaziat. Facuse o noua colectie de eroi. „Se joaca”, le-a spus el entuziasmat prietenilor sai. “Se joaca.”
Terrence Howard, Cuba Gooding Jr. si David Oyelowo intr-o scena din noul film al lui George Lucas.
Making “Red Tails” was such a natural experience for Lucas — like Peter Jackson commanding hobbits or Mike Leigh directing an emotionally fraught dinner scene — that you wonder why he would leave for the obscurity of the experimental world.
Part of Lucas’s urge, it seems, is to reassert himself as a figure of the ’70s. Peter Biskind’s book “Easy Riders, Raging Bulls” split the ’70s Movie Brat generation into warring camps: Martin Scorsese, Hal Ashby and Robert Altman, the protectors of Art, versus Lucas and Spielberg, the guys who turned movies into video games. (It seemed like a worse insult 10 years ago.) Among the many problems with this theory is that Lucas’s work on technical advances, like digital filmmaking and computer-generated imagery, has begun to help the very directors whose careers he supposedly vaporized. curve in arad The year in which Martin Scorsese releases “Hugo” — a movie with 15 times the number of C.G.I. shots as “Jurassic Park” — is the year in which it’s no longer O.K. to call Lucas a villain.
Lucas has also looked longingly at the career of Francis Ford Coppola, his onetime mentor. After years of tussling with the studios (and making his own flops without their interference), Coppola began self-financing movies like “Twixt” that find tiny audiences and often get brutal reviews from critics. Coppola loves the idea of Lucas’s joining him in creating these kinds of films. “Now that he’s demonstrated his commercial moviemaking abilities,” Coppola wrote in an e-mail, “it’s time to show his other side.” He said Lucas’s personal films — a combination of light and music and crack editing — are his “real gift.”
But you wonder if this view — the commercial versus the personal, the blockbuster versus the experimental art film — is as reductive as the 1970s model. In fact, Lucas has always made personal films, just not in the traditional sense. The very first time Lucas showed “Star Wars” to friends, with World War II movie dogfights standing in for the unfinished effects, Spielberg is reported to have said, “That movie is going to make $100 million, and I’ll tell you why — it has a marvelous innocence and naїvete in it, which is George, and people will love it. curve care se fut pe bani ”
That was without the Star Destroyers — it was just Lucas’s corny self up on the screen. Luke Skywalker’s battle with Darth Vader was given emotional heft by Lucas’s own relationship with his father, who owned a stationery shop and wanted George to join the family business. When Luke left his backwater planet for greater glory, he did so with the same resolve with which Lucas left his hometown of Modesto, Calif., a note Lucas struck perfectly in “American Graffiti.” (“Steve Bolander is an insurance agent in Modesto,” reads the “Graffiti” postscript — it sounds like Lucas’s nightmare.) Even 1984’s “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom” is a kind of personal film. “I was going through a divorce, and I was in a really bad mood,” Lucas told me. So he dreamed up a villain who reaches into men’s chests and pulls out their hearts. Did he really intend to create a metaphor that direct? “Yeah,” Lucas said glumly. The period is hard for him to think about.
Critics have said that Lucas’s personal flourishes are elemental and unsophisticated. But, as Spielberg put it, that is George. He ushered in what you might call the personal blockbuster. Amid the dead-eyed sequel-makers who haunt the multiplex, there are directors who have figured out how to insert themselves — their kinks, the fears, their passions — into $100 million crowd-pleasers. escorte cluj publi In the Batman movies and “Inception,” Christopher Nolan works out his obsession with privacy and the sanctity of our minds; David Fincher burrows into the heads of loners (Lisbeth Salander, the Zodiac Killer, Mark Zuckerberg) on society’s fringes. When Tim Burton makes a bad movie (like “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”), the problem is often that it’s too personal; we’re locked in Burton’s head when we could use some popcorn.
Lucas talks reverently of a certain category of megadirector — James Cameron (“Avatar”) and Peter Jackson (“The Lord of the Rings”) — who, like him, shepherd personal, seemingly ridiculous visions to the screen, only to watch them connect with a mass audience. “Those to me are some of the more interesting movies,” Lucas said. It’s because, under even the strictest 1970s definition, they’re personal films.
When Lucas talks about how excited he is to leave behind the rigors of blockbuster filmmaking — how he is “retiring, in a way, from my past” — he is, in the manner of a Lucas character, searching for his true self. A pesky “Star Wars” fanboy might suggest he already found him.
RIDE OFF, CUE SUNSET
Lucas doesn’t think the studios were being racist in rejecting his all-black action adventure. They were merely confused. Just as with “Star Wars,” they were being shown a movie that didn’t fit their marketing schema. “What’s it like?” Lucas asked, slipping again into a Socratic dialogue.
“Well,” he replied, “it’s kind of like ‘The Color Purple,’ only they’re in airplanes. It’s sort of like a Tyler Perry movie, only without jokes.”
And so, after shelling out nearly $100 million on the project, Lucas was sitting in his office in his flannel shirt dreaming of what his final blockbuster might rake in at the box office. “If we can get over $20 million in our first weekend,” Lucas said, “we’re kind of in the game. We’re in ‘The Help’ category.”
It was strange to hear the creator of “Star Wars” cap his aspirations at “The Help.” And sure enough, Lucas’s hypothetical grosses began to grow.
“If it gets $30 (million) in the first weekend,” he continued, “then those guys get to make their movies without even thinking about it.” Here Lucas meant Spike Lee or Lee Daniels or whoever else might direct the “Red Tails” prequel and sequel.
“If it does ‘Twilight’ business,” Lucas said. And here, to be clear, he was joking. But it’s a joke you get to make only when you’ve rewired a few generations’ worth of moviegoers’ brains. “If it does ‘Twilight’ business,” Lucas said, “then, gosh, all movies will be black.”
The sentiment is perfectly corny and naїve, and at the end of an amazing saga, it sounds like George Lucas’s preferred way of saying goodbye.