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Friday, 21 May 2004
Slashdot alerted me to the fact that George Lucas’s amazing first film, THX 1138, is finally going to be released on DVD come September. Four days prior, it will hit the big screens in selected cities, and thank the lord, the city I work in has been selected. Unfortunately, the excellent trailer for this release shows that Lucas has done his usual thing and added a whole bunch of CGI imagery, and even entirely new shots. I hope he hasn’t screwed things up, but in case he has, I’m glad I have my bootleg disc of the original version of the film.

The official site is kinda confusing to navigate, but is a lot of fun experience-wise if you’re familiar with the film.
posted to /art/cinema at 6:21pm :: 1 response

Shane had this to say (05/24/2004 15:46:15):
I'm not so distressed by Lucas' altering of his films, at least not merely in principle alone. As in judging any other artistic endeavor, it comes down to a question of whether it's done well or poorly. The problem isn't that Lucas decided to put Jabba back into A New Hope—how revisionist of me—it's that he did a shitty job of doing it, and maybe also that cutting it out was the right choice in the first place. But I still get a big kick out of the new shot where the Millenium Falcon rises up out of the space port in Mos Eisley and flies off over the city as the Stormtroopers blast away at her. So I like some of the Special Edition changes, I don't like some of the Special Edition changes. The thing that really frustrates me, though, is Lucas' suppression of the original material. A lot of other artists would love to (and do) go back and change their earlier works, and I find that, in many ways, retrospective revisions in a work of art, whether it be Star Wars or Ulysses, and the artist's thought process behind their changes can enrich the audience's experience and understanding of the intention behind the work. But a huge part of that enrichment is seeing the process of the changes. The screenplays for the original Star Wars have all been published in various formats with tons of supplemental materials ranging from notes on the early drafts of the story treatments to final production art. (And don't forget deleted scenes on DVDs.) Why give the audience all of this, but withhold the single most important documents of the whole creative process, the original films as they were originally released? Sometimes I just don't know what the fuck Lucas is thinking. So I'm looking forward to THX 1138, but I hope the changes work. And I hope there's still something around to compare them to.

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