THX 1138?

Discussion in 'Lucasfilm Ltd. In-Depth Discussion' started by Moff-Jerjerrod, Jun 2, 2002.

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  1. JohnWesleyDowney Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 27, 2004
    star 5
    I'm really encouraged, based on the last two posts, to see that I am not the only one who appreciates this unusual and prescient film.
  2. gundarkhunter Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 2, 2008
    star 3
    It's by far a muched loved favorite of mine. Some days, depending on how pessimistic I might be feeling, I prefer it over SW. Always cheers me up to see THX break free at the end.

    I enjoy watching THX, then Soylent Green, then Logan's Run. I don't know why but they all seem to fit together for me. I'll be screening Logan's Run several times this year beause my palm crystal will start flashing red this summer. The big two-nine. [face_worried]
  3. Obi-Dawn Kenobi Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jan 27, 2000
    star 4
    I will go so far as to say that THX1138 is my favorite film by George Lucas. I find the visuals to be heartbreakingly beautiful in their starkness and simplicity. It's like watching moving art. I find it mesmerizing, a true testament to George's visual storytelling style. The theme is poignant, the resolution hopeful - although a part of me always feels a bit of fear when THX does escape. Where does he go from there?

    JohnWesleyDowney, I've yet to watch that documentary. It's now on my short list of things to view as soon as I get a chance.

    Don't worry, my palm crystal went critical like, 8 years ago and I'm still around. :p I thought I was one of the only people who liked Logan's Run! I have it on dvd but haven't watched it in years. I should put it on my 'to watch' list too! And Soylent Green...oh my. Love some scenes in that. "It's people!"

  4. gundarkhunter Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 2, 2008
    star 3
    First, =D=. It is indeed a futurist painting/sculpture come to life. I thought about the "what's next for THX?" thing too. Then I plays me some Fallout 3 and realize he'll be okay. I mean what does the world look like now? Did everyone go underground or just a select group? So many questions. I love that the setting/rising sun is really all there is to be seen, leaving so much to the imagination.

    Logan's Run has to be one of my favorites, too. Not exactly state of the art special FX now, but for a time after Trek (series) and before ANH, the effects are easily forgiven and were very advanced for their time. The "wrinkles" part has to be my favorite part.

    As for Soylent-I love it because for all the optimistic utopian Sci-Fi and all the pessimistic dystopian stuff, it seems the most plausible to me. I mean we (humans) multiply and consume at an increasingly rapid rate-at some point, before we've truly embraced the final frontier and actually permanently occupy another heavenly body, we will have reached the limit of the Earth's capacity to feed and shelter us. Even if you consider the Moon and Mars, as Peter Wiggin says "you run out of raisins and celery kind of fast out there". And, with nuclear proliferation a memory for the good ol' US of A (I know NK and Iran are threats, but that's a debated issue for another forum), were not likley to end up killing each other off quickly enough to avoid the same scenario. So, for it's mathematically deduced depiction of an overcrowded "underfed" society, it gets the most accurate sci-fi prediction award in my book. Not trying to be a pessimist, myself, mind you, just looking at facts.

    Another good one to check out is the movie adaptation (I forget what year) of Farenheit 451. I'm gonna screen A Clockwork Orange myself here in a week or two, never seen it but I hear you either love it or hate it, just like all Kubrick stuff.

    Edited 'cause I'm a terrible proofreader.
  5. Obi-Dawn Kenobi Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jan 27, 2000
    star 4
    I only have a minute, so I can't fully respond - but, I wanted to say that the film version of A Clockwork Orange is wonderful. It's another visual treat and disturbing, like the book. I suspect you'll like it. :)
  6. gundarkhunter Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 2, 2008
    star 3
    Should I read the book first? I did that with 2001 and it made it far more interesting and understandable just because I knew what was happening throughout all the surreal "artsy" scenes that had no accompanying dialogue/explanation.
  7. Obi-Dawn Kenobi Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jan 27, 2000
    star 4
    gundarkhunter, I think I would recommend reading the book first, and preferably one with a glossary of all the slang words/terms used in it. (They use a lot!) The visuals in the film are very strong, but I think the way Burgess wrote them in the book can convey them just as well. I always find it exciting to read something and then see it come to life on film (when the film is done well, like I think Kubrick did with this one).

    Back to Soylent Green for a minute, yeah, it does make an impression of what the world could come to if/when the human carrying capacity is met/exceeded. Very bleak. My mom would watch that movie every time it was on, and so I must have seen it a dozen times growing up. That, Fantastic Voyage and Planet of the Apes. :)
    Fahrenheit 451 was one of my favorite books growing up. I think the first time I read it was in the 7th grade. I can still imagine the visuals in my mind that I got from the book. I have not seen the film in it's entirety. Perhaps I should add it to my 'to watch' list as well, which keeps growing because of this thread!

    I pulled my THX discs out and have the documentary ready to watch. Just need to find the time to sit and view it now.





  8. gundarkhunter Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 2, 2008
    star 3
    I haven't watched that-I should check it out. My to-watch list just got updated, too. Friend of mine referred Gattaca and The Island to me. Haven't seen 'em, as I 'm a fan of older stuff (like Planet of the Apes-love it) But I liked Aeon Flux and it's pretty recent, so who knows?
  9. NZPoe Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 21, 2001
    star 4
    "Gattaca" is simply quite fantastic, but very non-Hollywood in many ways. "The Island", however, is another one of Michael Bay's terminally brain-dead stabs at lending his unique look/style/vision at a genre that's far too classy and above his standards. Watch the film that "The Island" rips off - it's called "PARTS: THE CLONUS HORROR" and its HILARIOUS. In fact....here you go, check it out in all its Mystery Science Theater 3000 glory:

    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-1012064570548340374
  10. Blur Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 11, 1999
    star 4

    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 (long out of print) 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.
  11. JohnWesleyDowney Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 27, 2004
    star 5


    I agree with you about the ending. Very cinematic. Especially with Lalo Schifrin's glorious soundtrack complementing the image. Lucas does love sunrise/sunsets as we see throughout the Star Wars movies.

    Here's info from the DVD release on the official site:


    Made in 1971, THX 1138 marked the stunning debut of one of the screen's most innovative filmmakers and was produced by Francis Ford Coppola and his revolutionary American Zoetrope studios. Produced at the height of the American independent movement, THX 1138 stars Robert Duvall in a thought-provoking and visually rich exploration of a theme that would repeat itself throughout Lucas's career: One man's quest to realize his own potential amid an oppressive society.

    "THX 1138 is how I saw 1970. It was designed as a metaphor for the way we were living at the time," Lucas says. "The world has taken a strange twist from there, but I think the ideas that we examined in THX 1138 are still valid in the 21st century."

    Coppola said, "We were intent on nothing less than changing the way movies were being made. The friends who made the move to San Francisco together with me in the late 1960s were remarkable filmmakers. Looking back, it was an extraordinary and defining experience for all of us."

    In addition to the film, the DVD release of THX 1138: The George Lucas Director's Cut offers two new documentaries, including A Legacy of Filmmakers: The Early Years of American Zoetrope, a fascinating chronicle of the birth and rise of the radically different independent studio founded by director Francis Ford Coppola. THX 1138 had been positioned as the first in a slate of films from the newly established independent studio.

    Although its original theatrical run was short, THX 1138 attracted an enormous following, particularly among college students, and became one of the most influential films of its time. Lucas says, "We wanted to make a different kind of film, and I hope that when audiences see it today on DVD they will find it to be as intriguing as we envisioned."




  12. jedibri Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 19, 2000
    star 4
    I really like the film. It's to "artsy" for my wife.
  13. LawJedi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 11, 2009
    star 4
    I couldn't agree with this post more, but... BUT... I really recommend watching this documentary alongside the documentary Hearts of Darkness, which chronicles the making of Apocalypse Now. It is made up of behind the scenes footage and audio of Eleanor Coppola, Francis Ford Coppola's wife, as he completely melts down during the making of that wonderful film. Heart attacks, drug abuse, suicide threats, Marlon Brando zaniness... good times! Along the way, you realize that Francis Ford Coppola is a bit of a huckster, a little crazy and frigging brilliant.

    You'll laugh, you'll cry. You'll realize why Lucas formed his own company outside of Zoetrope.

    What's even more scary is to find out the facts cut from the film, such as Coppola using real bodies from a morgue in the final scenes of the movie, as well Dennis Hopper stating that Coppola kept him in coke during his time on the film. Brilliant documentary.
  14. JohnWesleyDowney Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 27, 2004
    star 5
    Lawjedi, I completely agree with your recommendation. I've seen the Heart of Darkness documentary you're referring to, and yes you're right, it makes an EXCELLENT companion piece to the one on the THX DVD about Zoetrope.

    Also, Peter Biskind's landmark book on 70s filmmakers (Easy Riders, Raging Bulls, a must read) is also very illuminating about the insanity of the Apolcalypse Now production.

    You'll laugh, you'll cry. You'll realize why Lucas formed his own company outside of Zoetrope.

    Indeed. Even before he formed Lucasfilm, he mentions in the documentary that when he finished shooting THX he retreated to the attic of his little house in Mill Valley to edit the film. He openly says he didn't want to be around the craziness of Zoetrope while he was working on that task.
  15. Captain_Typho Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 30, 2003
    star 5
    So something extraordinary happened this weekend. THX 1138 star and oscar winner Robert Duvall came to my small back woods country town here in Front Royal, VA, to help with a fundraiser for the local 4H stable. Now before I go any further, let me explain the situation. I'm an assistant manager at the paint store here in town, and one of our painters owns this trick mule that can literally do anything. It's potty trained, it can play a piano, open a cooler and pull a drink out and drink it, stand on some boxes, kneel before a cross etc. Well this mule is a prize winning national champion mule, and it caught the attention of Robert Duvall who needed a well trained mule for the filming of his new film called "Get Low" So this painter and his mule Grace got to go down to Georgia to film this movie, and Mr. Duvall and the painter became good friends on set. The painter invited Mr. Duvall to come to his home town here in Front Royal to watch his mule show and to help auction off an autographed picture the mule had painted. So before a small crowd of maybe 100-150 people, Mr. Duvall showed up, and getting him to sign my DVD copy of THX 1138 was like a piece of cake. He signed it "Bob Duvall" and he smiled when he saw the movie saying "Wow, this goes way back." What a treat to have my own personal signed copy of THX 1138! :D
  16. VladTheImpaler Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 13, 2000
    star 4
    No flipping way! That's one of the best stories I've ever heard. Any story that begins with a trick mule and ends with a signed copy of THX-1138 has got to be good. I live just an hour and a half or so from Front Royal.
  17. JohnWesleyDowney Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 27, 2004
    star 5
    Congratulations Captain Typho! That's one of the coolest stories I've heard in a long time.
  18. gundarkhunter Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 2, 2008
    star 3
    ^^^^^^
    ROFL!!!


    That is one awesome story.
  19. woj101 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 19, 2000
    star 1
    Only seen it once - bought it recently as the remastered Director's Cut DVD was going cheap.

    I like to dip in and out of dystopianimaginings as I am quite a disillusioned 20-something, and so while I realised THX 1138 was not an especially original idea, there was nothing in it that made me think Lucas was just exploiting the bandwagon. Admittedly, I'm not old enough to have known the mood when it was originally made and whether it was seen as 'just another dystopian nightmare, get over it already...' or not, but it definitely has real resonance with me in 2009.

    "Work hard; increase production; prevent accidents, and be happy" - perfectly captures the timeless essence of what it feels like to be an employee.
  20. UnexpectedRewinds Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 12, 2008
    Reminds me of that Radiohead song Fitter Happier

    Fitter, happier, more productive,
    comfortable,
    not drinking too much,
    regular exercise at the gym
    (3 days a week),
    getting on better with your associate employee contemporaries ,
    at ease,
    eating well
    (no more microwave dinners and saturated fats),
    a patient better driver,
    a safer car
    (baby smiling in back seat),
    sleeping well
    (no bad dreams),
    no paranoia,
    careful to all animals
    (never washing spiders down the plughole),
    keep in contact with old friends
    (enjoy a drink now and then),
    will frequently check credit at
    (moral) bank (hole in the wall),
    favors for favors,
    fond but not in love,
    charity standing orders,
    on Sundays ring road supermarket
    (no killing moths or putting boiling water on the ants),
    car wash
    (also on Sundays),
    no longer afraid of the dark or midday shadows
    nothing so ridiculously teenage and desperate,
    nothing so childish - at a better pace,
    slower and more calculated,
    no chance of escape,
    now self-employed,
    concerned (but powerless),
    an empowered and informed member of society
    (pragmatism not idealism),
    will not cry in public,
    less chance of illness,
    tires that grip in the wet
    (shot of baby strapped in back seat),
    a good memory,
    still cries at a good film,
    still kisses with saliva,
    no longer empty and frantic
    like a cat
    tied to a stick,
    that's driven into
    frozen winter ****
    (the ability to laugh at weakness),
    calm,
    fitter,
    healthier and more productive
    a pig
    in a cage
    on antibiotics.
  21. Merlin_Ambrosius69 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 4, 2008
    star 5
    Indiana Jones and the Radiohead of the OK Computer

    [face_laugh]
  22. Darth_Sidious- Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 14, 2005
    star 2
    I really need to give this movie another go, haven't seen it in a long time.
  23. Darth_Harmon Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 4, 2005
    star 4
    I absolutely loved THX-1138. Its the closest thing to a movie adaptation of Brave New world.

    Throughout the 1990's I had wanted to see it, my dad had seen it back when it hit theaters and told me of how awesome it was. When the digitally projected rerelease was announced I preordered tickets for the first showing (in Chicago) and hit the theater an hour early with three of my friends. When we arrived we received mini posters for the film and went to get our seats. There were only six other people in the theater! So for the next hour I got s#!t from my friends for coming so early to an empty theater. Anyway, the film ran, I loved it as did one of my friends. The other two thought it was too slow (they also disliked American Graffiti and Westworld, so whatever). I now own the 2-disc DVD and love to have the music-only track on while I do freelance work. The commentary is also very cool.
  24. Blur Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 11, 1999
    star 4
    I also saw the re-release of "THX-1138" in the theatre in September 2004, about a week before the release of the film on DVD (for the first time). In my case as well the theatre was nearly empty.

    It was great to see the film on the big screen - the digital re-mastering was incredible, and the sound was out of this world. I also enjoyed the subtle additions/edits to the film, and really felt that they improved the story & flow of the movie.

    It's probable that L. didn't make any $ on this re-release (it was only select theatres for a 1-2 weeks), and only re-vamped the movie for the theatrical and DVD release because he felt it deserved to be seen in the best possible format (prior to the 9/04 DVD release, the only way you could see this film was on a poor quality VHS tape - that is, if you could locate this, since it has been out of circulation for years).
  25. Darth-Seldon Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 17, 2003
    star 6
    THX is an interesting film and illuminates the early George Lucas. In this way it serves as a prelude to the Star Wars saga. His experimentation in THX would be solidified in the original SW. Walter Murch did an excellent job with it and it would have been interesting if they had worked together again.

    I also don't think this was simply George trying to be Stanley Kubrick. THX was originally a short student film that put Lucas on the map. The California film schools praised it as an innovative use of film. He then expanded the film for the theatrical release. While it is somewhat similar to Stanley--I think the comparison ends there.

    The film is worth watching at least once.
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