Discussion in 'Lucasfilm Ltd. In-Depth Discussion' started by Jeremy page, Aug 7, 2014.
is this a good film goerge lucas put out. thx1138
I believe it's a very much underrated film, which well demonstrates the philosophical and film making sensibilities of the young Lucas. I love it.
This post is an edited version of some of my previous responses to older threads on THX-1138 (some of which have been locked due to age):
THX-1138 is a truly superb film. I didn't fully appreciate the movie until I saw it in a very limited theatrical release back in September 2004, about a week before the Special Edition DVD release. The Special Edition version of the film is great, since it truly enhances the movie in subtle ways. Really liked the whole movie, including the hologram sequence, the "white room/space", the constant "What's wrong?" questions, etc. The whole vibe was very much like the novels 1984 & Brave New World, etc., while still being completely original.
I really enjoyed the theme of escape from the confines of a restrictive society/life - these themes were visited again by Lucas in "American Graffiti" and "SW: A New Hope".
I also wanted to again mention how significant it was that Lflm. cleaned this film up, made some non-intrusive changes/improvements, and re-released it to theatres & DVD back in 2004. If this hadn't been done, we would all be relegated to watching this film on sub-par VHS tapes in the crummy pan & scan format, something that really inhibited my full enjoyment of the movie back in the day.
Side-note: To those who are wondering what happened at the very end of "THX-1138" when THX went through the man-hole that led to the surface, the very end of the "THX-1138" novelization (by Ben Bova, long OOP these days) indicates that there are other people on the surface of Earth (if the planet is meant to be Earth). That being said, I liked the end of the film better, because you just saw THX going up to the surface and that was it - the red setting sun worked really well for this scene, and this ambiguous ending was much more cinematic than the one in the novel, at least IMHO.
THX creates for me, as does ANH, a distinct sense of sparseness and desolation. I sometimes wonder the extent to which this was something which Lucas was consciously trying to achieve at the time, a byproduct of financial / production limitations, or a bit of both. It's certainly not evident in his later work.
THX 1138 is a good and even fascinating film, although it probably doesn't offer the highest entertainment value.
I love the "What's wrong" questions! Actually, my favourite part of the film is when THX return from his meeting with the "God voice", opens the cupboard on the wall and there are these seemingly endless "What's wrong?" questions, accompanied by a very disturbingly rising music and fluttering surveillance images, until LUH steps in, takes THX and his hand, which leads to a very tender moment (seriously, I'd advise everyone who doesn't believe the AOTC Anakin/Padmé romance was deliberately awkward to see the THX/LUH interactions).
Honestly, combined with the previous vomiting and the surreal "Buy. Buy more. And ... be happy." this was probably the most disturbing thing I've ever seen on film! It's so diffrent.
Absolutely, and TPM is like another re-visit, with the characters of Anakin and also Padmé, yet it's a bit different. Also appreciate the visual resemblence of Kamino in AOTC to the world of THX 1130, especially since the Clones are very much like the people in THX: stunted emotions, not supposed to live a free and conscious and lovely life, puppets and caged.
Actually, I think THX 1138 is probably the feature film that came closest to what Lucas likes. It's a film that definitely builds upon the interplay of sound, images and editing more than anything he did later on. I would have loved to see Lucas making films like this after ROTS was done in 2005, unfortunately it doesn't appear to come true
Same here. Although I would love if George had discussed the changes/improvements in the commentary. It's one thing to assume the 'how' and 'why', but hearing from the man himself is much more interesting and authentic.
Agreed. One thing I found interesting is that the Death Star setting in ANH with the white, black, and grey colors bears some similarity to the stark imagery in THX-1138.
In reading Lucas' Biography Skywalking (1983), I remember one of the chapters mentioned that the stark colors of the Death Star were supposed to contrast with the much more organic tan & brown tones of Tattoine in ANH; this seems similar to how the stark white & black colors in most of THX-1138 contrasted to the red sky & sun at the very end of the film.
THX 1138 is one of my all-time favorite movies. It doesn't have a very high entertainment value, but artistically it's a masterpiece.
I watch it once every few years when I'm in the right mood. It always inspires me to experiment with the film medium, and it has influenced my filmmaking a lot.
I absolutely love it!
Oh man, THX 1138. One of my favorite movies of all time. I honestly consider it to be Lucas' finest hour.
This is quite possibly one of the greatest small budget independent films of all time....very inspiring for indy sci-fi film makers...any one seen the student film version George made?
Yeah, I'm pretty sure I have at some point. THX 1138 is a well made film and is underrated in my opinion.
Yep, and you can watch it here:
It's also on the DVD/Blu-ray as an extra.
One of the aspects of the film that seldom gets any recognition, let alone credit, is that it is actually serves as a deeply irreverent comedy. Lucas himself has since described as such. There are one or two slight silly moments on the surface, yet even beyond that, holistically, the film makes the driest of mockeries of its setting and societal circumstances. Not laugh-out-loud funny, perhaps, but there are many scene throughout the narrative that match bizarreness with absurdity to a degree that warrants a wry smirk.
Agreed it's a wickedly funny "black" comedy and a killer satire.
THX 1138 is the first film in the true George Lucas trilogy, joined by American Graffiti and Star Wars IV.
They are a distinct unit to be sure.