STAR WARS (1977).
|Posted: 25 May 2017 at 11:28pm | IP Logged | 5
Good news: The original, theatrical version.
Bad news: I wasn't alive to see it in the theater during its original release.
Great news: Still a perfect movie. Even its flaws are charming. No amount of sequels, prequels, or Disney sausage factory-releases can ever really diminish or destroy it. It still works as an entity unto itself. The greatest and most important film ever made, all things considered? Maybe.
At the very least, it's a ridiculously satisfying and uplifting movie experience. People have told me that seeing the film in '77 was akin to a religious experience, and I totally get that. From an editing standpoint alone, the film moves so quickly and dispenses information so casually that it would absolutely have taken multiple viewings to soak everything in. As George Lucas has often noted, the film was deliberately structured to be like a foreign film that the audience as thrown into without context.
It's a masterpiece of world-building, and I'd argue that no other film in cinema history has so convincingly and effortlessly created such a rich universe with so much going on in every corner of the frame. Every shot conjures up stories and backstories and side-stories. There are casual references to characters and events that add a high degree of verisimilitude to the proceedings. To say nothing of the groundbreaking "used future" design aesthetic. It's definitely not a stretch to say that the film is one of the best art-directed films of all time--virtually every design (costumes, locations, vehicles, weapons, droids, etc.) is memorable and iconic. As is the sound design, and the music, and the characters, and...
It's just this magic little movie where everything that needed to happen to make it work--everything--all came together perfectly at exactly the right time. If any one element had been off, it could have been a disaster. Instead, it became a cultural phenomenon whose massive shadow we're still very much living in, nearly a half-century later.
More detailed thoughts to be posted in the STAR WARS section, when I have a chance to further reflect and write.