george just aint as hip as he used to be,hey it happens.

Discussion in 'Attack of the Clones' started by DarthAbdul-jabbar, Aug 13, 2002.

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  1. Pooja Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 25, 2002
    star 6
    Well, we'll just have to agree to disagree, but in my opinion, that's what makes a film artistic. But what do I know? Quite a bit, I would hope.

    Hey, I'm not questioning your film knowledge. I'm not questioning your knowledge in general.

    However I think different people look at different things as art.

    One person may look at art as being "hey that shot was lit perfectly" and another person may look at art as being the way events in a film lead to irony or something along those lines.

    Art is too strict of a word to define- and I don't even think the human race has mastered the definition OF art.
  2. Oakessteve Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    May 9, 1999
    star 6
    Precisely. One person's art, is another person's mess on the wall. To quote Lex Luthor, "Some people can read War and Peace and come away thinking it's a simple adventure story. Others can read the ingredients on a chewing gum wrapper and unlock the secrets of the universe." Art depends greatly on the individual who's experiencing the art. And, to me, Empire Strikes Back is artistically directed, but to someone else, it's just a silly adventure story.
  3. Pooja Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 25, 2002
    star 6
    Hey, we agree!
    :p

    Well, I think Empire Strikes Back is BEAUTIFULLY directed... and maybe some shots are really artistic- but I don't think the overall film is.

  4. DarthHomer Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 29, 2000
    star 5
    "anyone who dosnt feel at least a little bit uneasy about the p t so far i would guess are lower down on the totam pole as far as the true sons of the star wars saga."

    Oh please!

    Careful you don't fall off that high horse of yours :)
  5. Lord_Hydronium Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 11, 2002
    star 5
    I feel that one of the reasons he decided to go with an all-CG Yoda is because he was afraid that a puppet would look to retro. Instead of using real clonetroopers when they're perfectly viable he uses CG clonetroopers. Instead of retaining the old things that come across better he jumps on the CG bandwagon just because it's the newest gadget and it's oh so convenient. Don't want to hire real extras...just employ a CG abomination. Everything the guy does is either for convenience or for the sake of spectacle and flesh and blood actors are used like mere pixels in an arcade game.

    CG is not that easy. The ILM CG artists are actually artists; some artists use marble and chisels, some use paint and brushes, they use pixels and computers. It's not like they just sit down and say to the computer, "Make a Dug". They actually have to create it with care and hard work.

    As for clonetroopers, they looked absolutely great, and I couldn't tell that they were all CG until I read that on these boards. And even then I didn't believe they were all CG; I was sure that there must have been at least a couple guys in suits. IMO, there's no reason to hire a bunch of extras the exact same height when you can make characters that look no worse cheaper and easier. If I can't tell the difference, why should it matter to me?

    And trust me, ILM still uses a lot of models in their work. I believe they have the largest model shop in the industry.
  6. Pooja Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 25, 2002
    star 6
    CG is art in itself.
  7. AL Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 22, 1998
    star 5

    Wow, Pooja, deep!

    CG is a film making tool, mon cherie, it aids a film and not makes it.

    Nothing in Attack of the Clones is based on photographing actual human beings in their natural environments. Every shot is such a complex technical achievement, so full of droids, aliens, spacecraft or gargantuan structures, that the movie itself takes on the hazy, ugly look of software, especially when shot and projected digitally. Even if this is deliberate, it doesn't work ? the excessively electric-red skies and deep brownish crimson mountains of Geonosis may be meant to remind us that we are not on earth, but what they really make us aware of is that what we're seeing isn't real.

    Lucas has never been much of a visual stylist (at least, not since the days of THX 1138), but the characteristic cleanliness and contrast of his compositions ? the brilliant, antiseptic white of the stormtroopers' uniforms, the lustrous blue-black of Darth Vader's helmet ? have been abandoned here in favour of meaningless clutter. Certainly one of this film's grand set pieces are impressive, albeit in a slightly underwhelming level considering the supposed immensity of the conflict. The great battle between the soon-to-turn-bad clonetroopers and the Federation's droids, lightly echoing the Agincourt scene from Olivier's Henry V (1944), is marvellous to behold in a Jurassic Park way. The vast, ovoid interior of the Galactic Senate, with its regimented rows of desks curving away into infinity, is yet again a splendid visual joke about the inefficacy of politics on a grand scale, though re-visiting the same visual metaphor from the first film just feels lazy, mas does most of the action scenes and even the music. But Lucas' imagery often seems rooted in nothing particular. Compared with the visual wit and imagination of such 90s science-fiction/fantasy epics as The Matrix (a film I did not like on the whole), Fellowship of the Ring (another flick which I thought was flawed in other, more subtle ways) and even The Phantom Menace, AOTC's aesthetic seems leaden and outdated.

    But the biggest problem with Attack of the Clones is that it lacks narrative coherence. Lucas' intrusive use of diagonal and horizontal optical wipes only reinforces the sense that this movie is all stitches and no fabric. Logically, this wants to be the story of Obi-Wan Kenobi's mentor/teacher relationship with Anakin Skywalker (soon to become Darth Vader), but the two scarcely exchange a meaningful word until the movie's final scenes. Obi Wan Kenobi is arguably the central character, with Ewan Macgregor supplying the requisite combination of Zen gnosticism and kung-fu athleticism. But we learn nothing about his life, and his relationship with Anakin adds up to little more than a lot of graceful tandem swordplay. As Obi-Wan Ewan McGregor is one of several outstanding actors given virtually nothing to do. Another is Pernilla August as Anakin's mother. We're told she and Anakin are passionately attached (and it's more than hinted that his love for his mother will be his downfall), but their one scene together is bland and generic and Anakin does not talk of her mother's death and seems unaffected by it following the rudimentary slip into the dark mside scene with the Tuskens.

    Noone in the film has anything like an adult emotional life. I realise the series' prepubescent asexuality is part of its appeal, but it might be nice to feel some sense of evolution or possibility. Lucas' narrative's mystical long arc ? the conflict between the Jedi and the Sith, the Force and the Dark Side ? isn't foregrounded until Dooku is revealed to be the Sith. What was a rather simple black and white/good and bad plot device, has turned into a Marin country spiritual blubber which no consenting adult can take seriously or be emotionally involved with. The whole Jedi concept ? a eugenic warrior caste guided by pure spirit (and midichlorians, lest I forget) and shaped by elite training ? is so troubling it calls the entire political dimension of Lucas' universe into question. His desire to
  8. AL Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 22, 1998
    star 5

    Following on, I also have some points to make on the humour of the PT so far, an aspect that is not the high-point of the PT by a long stretch.

    In a laboured quest to recapture some of the first trilogy's (sorry, the middle trilogy's[actually, the second trilogy of the 12-Part-Saga of Luke Skywalker]) humour, Lucas and his enormous team of collaborators have created many cartoonish new species. Jar Jar Binks, with his rubbery platypus face, joke-Caribbean accent and jive walk right out of a 70s blaxploitation movie (with bell-bottom trousers to match) amused small children, but many adults found The Phantom Menace's quasi-racial typing patronising at best. He works much better in Attack of the Clones but it is absolutely pointless to believe that this change of screen-time for the walking frog was not affected by the backlash against the character in all aspects of the American (and world) culture. Dexter-Jettster works well on the written page but he is an alien for the sake of being an alien and his use of plain old English as opposed to the otherworldy alien tongue that so many of the original trilogy's characters spoke, hammers the pointlessness of the nature of the character home. The scene lacks any kind of humour whatsoever and I can't for the life of me even being to believe that anyone would find lines such as "If droids could talk..." and "How big you pocket-book is" funny.

    When you consider that the Trade Federation leaders still speak in hackneyed Fu Manchu accents, you get the feeling that the most important point of taste (or lack there of is still lost in Lucas). When one considers the fact that Watto(as a fan, I like him but we are talking about the overall picture here) resembles a traditional caricature of the hook-nosed Jewish trader, the whole picture becomes much more disturbing.

    Of course I don't believe Lucas has any consciously racist agenda; what's involved here are multiple failures of common sense, good taste and imagination realised all over again in AOTC. You have to wonder whether he has spent so long in an alternative universe ? both the one inside his own head and the one in Skywalker Ranch ? that he can't tell the difference between a sensitive depiction of cultural difference and offensive stereotypes.

  9. Grizham1 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 5, 2001
    star 2
    al is right on, should be interested to see someone find a sentence in his post to attack..........
  10. Tukafo Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 18, 2002
    star 4
    The way Lucas "clutters" his effects shots in the PT is something that annoys me. He also did this in the Special Editions. Apart from being totally distracting those shots of countless aliens in the background also don't make much sense.

    Take Coruscant. The picture Lucas wants to paint is that coruscant is a busy metropolis so he has tons of background action and gimmicks going on. But the way he does this is more or less pointless. To present you with an equivalent - when somebody wants to show in a film that New York City is a busy metropolis then he puts lots of passers-by in the background of a shot or maybe a merchant or whatever. He wouldn't fill the background of a dialogue scene with a robbery happening behind the actors, a car race, a car crash, twelve people beating each other up etc. Unless of course it's a Naked Gun film. And this is exactly what those shots in TPM, AOTC or the SE's remind me of.
    Landscapes are the same in Lucas' films. If you'd make a film that takes place on earth and you show the ocean in the background would you show how very causally a whale jumps out of the sea, maybe followed by a shark, three dolphins jumping up and down in between etc. What is the point of all this? Why does Lucas insist on distracting the viewer's attention away from the foreground action or dialogue? Unless he really has Naked Gun in his mind
  11. TokyoXtreme Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 24, 2001
    star 4
    Remember that "the look" of the OT is almost purely the vision of Ralph McQuarrie, Joe Johnston, and that guy with the hyphenated name. NOT George Lucas -- he just stamped the drawings. Joe Johnston, why you so bad? AT-AT driver is FREAKING TIGHT SHIZ!!!!!

    JOE JOHNSTON!! You know he rocks because he put a T in his name!

    Oops, let's make that an image you can see:

    [image=http://www.entertainmentearth.com/images//AUTOIMAGES/MTS7LG.jpg]

    That's a freaking DOLL by the way!! I want it!
  12. Pooja Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 25, 2002
    star 6
    Wow Pooja, deep!

    I decide to be friendly to bashers, and my opinions still get attacked.
  13. AL Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 22, 1998
    star 5

    It was not an opinion, it was stating something as a fact though it was ultimately wrong.
  14. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    AL, those are some of the most astute, profound comments about AOTC I've read on the boards. I got hammered recently for saying I though AOTC was the product of a bankrupt imagination, a failure of aesthetic sensibilities. But you wrote out the argument in a way that makes perfect sense, at least to me.
  15. Pooja Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 25, 2002
    star 6
    AL,

    When you draw something on a piece of paper, it is considered artwork. Some people may like what you drew, some people may not.

    It takes a very long time to make a CG character, let alone actually animate it into the film almost flawlessly.

    This is why I think CG is art.

    And by the way, Obi-Wan doesn't have a life. He's a Jedi. Amidala doesn't have a life- she is a senator. Anakin doesn't have much of a life either. I don't see how Lucas is supposed to show us more of how they live if all they do all day, every day is follow orders.

    I know my life inparticular is not very interesting. I wake up and go to college, everyday. That's about it. Kenobi, Skywalker, and Amidala wake up, and go to work all day, everyday.

    If you look at it, well, not many people have lives. It is get up, go to work/school, sleep.
    :p
  16. AL Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 22, 1998
    star 5

    Artwork is differnt from art: surely you do not classify the Mona Lisa in the same vein of a scribble you drew while you were on the phone to your boyfriend.

    CG is a technical tool in order to aid some of the more impossible tasks that needs to be brought to screen. You can hail films for their mastery of their use of CG (What Dreams May Come did this wonderfully, although ultimately it was a flawed film) but you cannot single out CG as an art form in itself.
  17. Pooja Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 25, 2002
    star 6
    It all comes down to opinion I suppose, my dear friend. You may not think it is art; but a lot of hard work and effort was put into it. And not to mention that I thought every CG character in Episode II, minus the Shaak, was believable.

    I still don't know how ILM does some of the stuff they do. I admire thier work and am glad that they would spend so much time and effort on a 2 hour film.
  18. AL Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 22, 1998
    star 5

    I don't think you understand the difference between art and craft. My mobile phone can take pictures and also can work as a videophone. It is top of the range and so much work has obviously gone into it. But you know what? It is not art.
  19. Tukafo Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 18, 2002
    star 4
    a lot of hard work and effort is put into a Monster Truck rally but that doesn't make it art
  20. Pooja Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 25, 2002
    star 6
    I believe art and craft go together. If someone CRAFTS a statue, to me, it is art.

    Anything someone makes, whether it is good or bad, IMO, is art. Of course, I don't think the ham and cheese sandwich I made is art.
    :p
  21. AL Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 22, 1998
    star 5

    Pooja, you are digging yourself in this shambles and I commend you for sticking to your ground. You remnd me of those Japanese sodiers discovered in the eighties in the middle of the Burmese jungle who still thought the war was going on.

    According to your suppositions, everyone is an artist. I like the pseudo post-modern new-ageism of it all. I really do.
  22. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    AL wrote: "The whole Jedi concept ? a eugenic warrior caste guided by pure spirit (and midichlorians, lest I forget) and shaped by elite training ? is so troubling it calls the entire political dimension of Lucas' universe into question. His desire to combine a faith in democracy with idealised systems of royalty, nobility and knighthood is almost comically American. But the Star Wars notion of democracy is no better than a fuzzy abstraction, a cover story for the mystical Manichaeanism of the Jedi, who by all appearances are a masculine cult of chastity and purity straight out of Wagner's Parsifal."

    Look closer at this aspect of the PT and the whole universe of the PT begins to collapse in a heap of philosophic, moral and logical inconsistencies. I've singled out the "Yoda and the younglings" scenes as one of the best in the movie. Yet it is troubling as well. Children being trained as soldiers is one of the world's most pressing evils, and I think the scene with its idyllic representation of children learning to use a deadly weapon illustrates Lucas's apparent lack of connection to common-sense notions of morality
  23. Pooja Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 25, 2002
    star 6
    According to your suppositions, everyone is an artist.

    I think everyone in the world is capable of art. If my little 4 year old brother walks up to me with a drawing of a house, or a bird- it is artwork. Is it good artwork? To him, yes, it is.

  24. AL Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 22, 1998
    star 5

    The Yoda and the Younglings scene brings a very disturbing aspect to the fore. The Republic does not have an army and the only force which defends the institution are knights trained from virtually birth. The similarities to the Hitlerjugend are more than obvious and disconcerting.
  25. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    Lucas must believe that the light saber's appeal to literary stereotypes of chivalry and knighthood exempt it from the more disturbing notion of the role of weapons proficiency for a highly trained warrior caste that Anakin reveals in his playful comment about "aggressive negotiations."

    There must be a difference that the audience accepts as valid though. If the youngling scene depicted Yoda teaching the padawan children how to clean and load blasters, then I tend to think it wouldn't have gone over as well.
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