Call#: Van Pelt Library PN1998.3.L835 A5 1999
Sally Kline’s collection of interviews with George Lucas is essential reading for any student interested in an auterist study of THX 1138. The introduction reminds readers that George Lucas has been remarkably reticent during his career. Perhaps more than any other filmmaker of his generation, Lucas has preferred to remain relatively anonymous. The editor points out that rarely have interviewers questioned Lucas about the revolution in marketing and merchandising he inspired after the success of Star Wars; still less is known about Lucas’s personal life and its influence on his filmmaking. Kline also highlights the fact that Lucas has been very hostile towards the Hollywood establishment; a hostility that has often been reciprocated.
The interviews presented in the volume are unedited so as to create an accurate a record of Lucas’s thoughts as possible. Helpfully, the book provides a chronology of George Lucas’s life and a short filmography.
A 1971 article by Judy Stone portrays George Lucas as a daring independent film maker; an oppressed artist fighting unsuccessfully against the short-sighted Hollywood film moguls who cut out sections of his first film, THX 1138. Lucas is quoted as being very upset by this turn of events. Lucas describes the film as an attempt at social criticism. With THX, Lucas hoped to tell his audience that they could escape the quotidian pettiness of their lives by simply walking away. “They’re people in cages with open doors,” says Lucas (4). Later in the article, Stone describes Lucas’s early upbringing in Modesto, California, his conservative upbringing and the creation of American Zoetrope, an independent company co-founded with Francis Ford Coppola.
Another article, reproduced from the October 1971 issue of American Cinematographer offers an invaluable contribution to any study of THX 1138: an interview in which Lucas describes his concept for the film. Lucas says that he wanted to make a cinema verite film of the future. Lucas then describes the rushed nature of the filming process and the reasoning behind various artistic decisions. Lucas concludes by saying that the final product came out pretty much as he hoped it would.
Call#: Van Pelt Library PN1998.A3 L856 1983
Dale Pollock’s biography of George Lucas—the director of THX 1138—provides details of the filmmaker’s life from his teenage years up to the production of Return of the Jedi in 1983. The book, using extensive interviews with George Lucas and his associates, provides unique insights into Lucas’s personality and background; key ingredients to any auterist treatment of THX 1138. The book is complimentary, sometimes bordering on the hagiographic. Opening chapters provide an overview of Lucas’s career and an assessment of its accomplishments. The author points to the fame of the Star Wars trilogy, the respect accorded to Lucas for his technical accomplishments and Lucas’s ability to independently produce his own films under the auspices of his film company, Lucasfilm. Lucas’s diffident personality and relatively innocuous personal presence are emphasized in order to highlight the unique nature of his success.
Chapter four offers a fascinating look at the relationship between George Lucas and Francis Ford Coppola. Coppola, a relatively young independent director, provided Lucas with his first job after finishing film school. Working with Coppola on the film Rain People, Lucas was given a small sum of money to shoot a documentary of the film’s production. The resulting project, Filmmaker, gave Lucas legitimacy and helped to advance his career. Coppola convinced Lucas to turn his film school project, THX 1138, into a feature-length film and helped convince Warner Brothers to finance the film. Pollock presents compelling commentary from Lucas about his tumultuous relationship with Coppola. According to Lucas, Coppola was often overbearing and sought to portray Lucas’s success as completely dependent on his support. Lucas obviously takes umbrage with this portrayal, telling the author that THX 1138 would eventually have been made even without Coppola’s help.
The book includes a detailed filmography with information on THX 1138’s production, principal credits, cast and technical credits.
Call#: Van Pelt Video Collection; ask at Circulation Desk. DVD PN1995.9.S26 T49 2004