Discussion in 'Lucasfilm Ltd. In-Depth Discussion' started by obi-rob-kenobi4, Jan 18, 2012.
Happy birthday, AG!
I was out in Petaluma recently. My poor wife had to bear with me as I pointed out all the filming locations.
I just watched AG last night , haven't watched it in years .
I've always loved it but its good to have not seen something in a while , what really impressed me was the performances , they're just brilliant , so natural and quirky , each actor is just on the money every single time , and when you think how quickly they shot it .
plus Wexler's photography is gorgeous , which is surprising considering it was in Techniscope and shot at night , he really does get those Jukebox colors . And the sound design was so groundbreaking , all that background sound and ambience .
I haven't seen it. Only Lucas movies I've seen are Star Wars and Indiana Jones (yes I know Spielberg directed). Would you recommend this one? Is it similar to any other Lucas work?
Yeah, it definitely is, besides a lack of Nazis and Darth Vader. Similar themes, especially to ANH.
Awesome. I'll give it a watch at some point. Probably over Thanksgiving break
I just watched this movie again. Man, I forgot how great a movie this is. It may not be the most polished thing ever, but it has a tremendous amount of heart and thoughtfulness to it.
So different from Lucas's latest movies, which are polished and technically advanced, with no real heart to them.
Just re-watched AG for the umpteenth time, but for the very first time on Blu-ray. I have been watching this film for years in various home video incarnations and am, quite literally, stunned at how good the picture quality is here - truly amazing. All Blu-ray releases should be this good. It's hard to believe the film is 40+ years old...
Note that in the Blu-ray release it is more obvious that the very beginning of the film takes place at dusk, re: the sky in the background over the drive-in diner. I don't believe this was as obvious (or there at all) in previous releases...This is important, since it establishes that the film takes place over one night: It begins at dusk, and then ends at dawn (or close enough to dawn), when Kurt gets on the plane.
Re: the film itself, enjoyed the themes of change & the end of innocence. I always thought it was interesting how both Kurt & Steve (Ron Howard) change their minds about leaving to go away to school over the course of one night; Kurt has a lot of trepidation about leaving & then ends up going anyway. Whereas Steve is gung-ho about leaving and then stays. The reasons for this are obvious, but still interesting. I think what made Kurt decide to leave was his conversation with Wolfman Jack, who basically told him that he had to go out and experience the world while he was still young.
I've always been a huge fan of George Lucas as a filmmaker. The casual movie fan that only knows George through Star Wars has no appreciation for how visionary a maverick filmmaker he was in his film school days, his American Zoetrope days and then on into the THX-1138 feature, American Graffiti and A New Hope. When I talk about George's great trilogy people always think I mean Star Wars, when in reality I'm talking about those 1970's classics.
I live in Los Angeles, I'm a film school graduate and I'm so cynical about so many movies, but when I went to see American Graffiti at the New Beverly theater projected from a new print on a Sunday night last year I was swept off my feet in a way that just hasn't happened that much to me since I was teenager. Directed in that pseudo-documentary style and capturing some moments of pure life, pure cinema, while also being about something so relatable and being about it in such an authentic way... my favorite moment in the film is when Curt is walking through the hallway at what is now his 'old' school. He reaches his old locker and tries the combination, but it no longer works. This is the silent turning point for him, and it's true cinema. It's a moment without dialogue but it says everything: things in life are always in motion and sometimes you can't go back, you must move forward. Pure George Lucas. He'll always be the biggest influence on my life, professionally and personally because of what he has to say about life, and how he says it with the camera.
^ In a way it's a shame that Star Wars took over his life even after ROTJ. It would have been great to see what else he might have come up with, but he just couldn't let it go...
Not it wasn't. It was a collaboration but the film had a director. Read the Rinzler book. Richard Marquand worked his butt off on that movie.
I'm in the same boat, except I'm obsessed by everything he's created, from buildings to books! Most people just don't "get" it, they either don't know or don't care because of the Fanboy hate.
Best character: Harrison Ford with his hat.
Even if you're only a SW fan & not much of an AG fan (I like both), you still can't deny the importance of the film - not only did it capture a point in time for many & became a huge hit as a result, it's popularity (both financial & critical) gave Lucas the financial freedom & the clout to make ANH. Conversely, if AG hadn't been a huge blockbuster hit, I'm certain Lucas would never have been able to sell ANH to the studio, let alone have enough $ to make this very expensive movie...
Thematically, THX-1138, American Graffiti, and ANH actually have more in common with each other than any of the OT films have with each other: I.e., the storyline of THX, AG, and ANH all involve a character leaving their comfort zone & going out into the big, bad world to start a new life.
In THX-1138, THX is a drone worker, who eventually decides to escape his hum-drum existence and leave behind everything he knows. The last scene when he opens up the hatch & goes out into the sunlight is amazing.
Throughout the long night (dusk until dawn) in AG, Kurt has a lot of trepidation/uncertainty about going away to college, and at one point it looks like he won't go. But, after talking to Wolfman Jack, he ends up taking the plunge at the end of the film. The ending scene when he's looking out the airplane window & sees Suzanne S. in the white sports car is one of my favorite endings in cinema - perfect.
And, in ANH, Luke wants to leave the moisture farm (and has apparently wanted to for several years), but is kept back by family obligations. Once his aunt & uncle abruptly pass on, he then also leaves home, and discards almost everything associated with his past (selling his landspeeder, etc.).
Lucas wanted Ford to get a crew cut, but Ford refused, he was afraid he'd miss out on roles until his hair grew back out to the 1970's style length. The hat was a compromise, Ford got to keep his hair, but Lucas got the effect he wanted: That Falfa was "different"
"Do you want to be like John? You can't stay 17 forever"
and of course
"Let me have a Three Musketeers, and a ball point pen, and one of those combs there, a pint of Old Harper, a couple of flash light batteries and some beef jerky."
After seeing that scene for the first time, I like this scene from The Simpsons so much more:
Saw the movie last Saturday
It was alright
I love this movie..favorite scene is when "My Little Runaway" is playing and the young girl is trying to get the older guy to take an interest in her and he's just treating her like an annoying baby and they just constantly fight and bicker...i love that scene..great depiction of those youthful moments...
From all the George Lucas movies I saw, American Graffiti is the one I've disliked. I even fell asleep during the middle, which is extremely rare for me...I just found the 'plot' really bland.
American Graffiti has the best compiled song soundtrack of any film out there.
I watched Graffitti and I really liked. A very simple and no pretensious movie. The soudtrack its cool and we can see a young Dreyffus and Ford, that's interesting. I like more Graffitti than THX-1138, after ANH it is the best GL movie.
Can't believe it but I just saw the movie for the first time this past weekend. I really enjoyed it (as an aside, Wolfman Jack really tied it together).
George continually returns to the theme of choosing to escape your reality. I remember an interview about THX where he is talking about the choice of leaving the oppressive society--that anyone can walk through the portal if they choose to. THX rebels against his society, goes off his mandated medications and in the end literally climbs out of oppression. Ron Howard and Richard Dreyfuss are both confronted with the choice of whether they will leave their hometown. Luke Skywalker dreams of leaving but cannot imagine it until the empire incinerates the Lars homestead. Anakin escapes slavery but loses his mother. Different variations on the same theme.
Just finished watching this for the first time. Fantastic film.