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Tagged with “star wars” (41)

  1. 1977

    It is a period of civil war. Rebel spaceships, striking from a hidden base, have won their first victory against the evil Galactic Empire … Before those words crawled up movie screens in May 1977, what did people think the future was going to look like? What did pop culture sound like on the eve of Star Wars? With Kurt Andersen, Annalee Newitz, Alyssa Rosenberg, and Chris Taylor. This is part I of a V part series.

    —Huffduffed by adactio

  2. Our Postmodern Myth: “Star Wars” is Back - Open Source with Christopher Lydon

    Our Postmodern Myth: “Star Wars” is Back

    There’s a big old spoiler alert hanging over this whole radio show. You’ve been warned!

    We’re beginning 2016 by confronting what is already its biggest cultural phenomenon. The Force Awakens, the latest installment of Star Wars, on track to make $3 billion and more around the world.

    What does it mean that this particular, high-capital story survives as a global dream? And maybe the most familiar alternate universe ever created outside a world religion: a Greek pantheon for the modern day?

    Star Wars is full of paradoxes: it’s profoundly flat; imperial filmmaking in celebration of rebels and saboteurs; a forty-year-old hit that remains forever young. The essayist Chuck Klosterman proposes to nationalize Star Wars, turning the franchise into a lucrative public works project for the nation’s out-of-work actors, set dressers, and engineers. (It’s “the only thing America does that everybody likes.”) And our guest Amanda Palmer tells us it was a geek movie that never seemed that geeky, as well as a violent movie that never seemed that violent. In the end, George Lucas‘s creation must have approval numbers that popes and politicians could only dream of.

    Why does Star Wars still mean so much to so many? With a group of our favorite people, we’re counting the ways (with special thanks to Eric Molinsky, host and producer of Imaginary Worlds, who did a five-part series on the cultural significance on the franchise — listen here):   

    It’s a postmodern myth.

    There’s a moment in the original Star Wars, when Luke Skywalker, played by Mark Hamill, looks out at the horizon as dusty Tatooine’s two suns set.

    There are no words, but John Williams’s score is working overtime, sounding the note of potential energy: a young person with gifts and a great destiny who’s still just wishing he were anywhere but here. Almost anyone can imagine himself standing on that bluff and watching the sun(s) go down.

    Watch that scene (you have permission to find it corny!) But it’s also got the mystery of Star Wars’s eternal appeal packed into just 36 seconds: another orchestrated, saturated, uncanny image for all time, conjuring not just before — Achilles, Lancelot, and Dante — but after: Spider-Man, the X-Men, Harry Potter, Katniss Everdeen and most recently, Rey, the Skywalker stand-in for the latest film.

    It’s (almost) a silent film.Speaking of which, George Lucas always put a lot of stock in the power of Star Wars‘s score and images to get along on their own. So in 1977, he anticipated the globalizing trend that’d hit Hollywood decades later — a move away from repartee and puns and into a world of spectacle and SFX. Watch Star Wars work like a silent film in the famous throne-room finale, in the last scene of the new movie, and in that “I am your father” confrontation:

    It’s a theology for the post-religious — and a political shorthand.

    Yes, there are thousands of people all over the world to check “Jedi Knight” on census forms just to scramble the religious picture of the 21st century. And “The Dark Side” has become a shorthand in politics to be embraced by Dick Cheney and shunned by Larry Lucchino, the outgoing Red Sox president who once labeled the Yankees “The Evil Empire.”

    But there’s something a little deeper and more peculiar in the vague cosmology of “The Force” put forward in the movies: a balance between emotional attachments and inner peace, between individualism and teamwork, between self-interest and philanthropy, that speaks to the unique spiritual drift of the 20th-century consumer.

    It’s a product of the depressed ‘70s — but it still works the same way.

    Alan Andres reminds us that those first movies opened during American doldrum days, with bad news everywhere in the ether: the Fall of Saigon, Watergate, the fall of Skylab, the Church Committee, Chappaquiddick, and the Iran hostage crisis. The tone of sci-fi was suitably dark: Soylent Green is people! We were a rebel nation that had come to seem like an evil empire (until Reagan came along and declared that the Soviets were the real imperial enemy).

    It may be true that, more than anything, George Lucas wanted to offer a generation of young Americans a different, optimistic story with a batch of good role models in tow. But still he had The Emperor — the bad guy of all Star Wars bad guys — sit in an oval-shaped throne room: Nixon, determined to crush the latest guerrilla uprising.

    It’s militaristic.

    Somehow, underneath the swashbuckling escapes and screwball dialogue, people forget that in Star Wars, the viewer really can’t root for anyone who doesn’t commit mass murder.

    The Empire blows up Alderaan with a weapon known as the Death Star in order to quash organized resistance. But then the heroic Rebels blow up the planet-sized Death Star — along with, it is estimated (!), 843,342 souls in the crew and staff — to stick it to the Empire.

    And that’s just a start! Tell us what Star Wars means to you (and may the Force be with you all in 2016)!

    —Huffduffed by adactio

  3. BBC Radio 4 - A Point of View, Star Wars Obsession

    Helen Macdonald has made her name writing about nature and birds of prey. So why has she become so fascinated with the recent Star Wars movie that she’s been to see it six times? In her first "A Point of View" she tries to get to the bottom of her obsession and wonders whether it’s all down to nostalgia or something else.

    —Huffduffed by adactio

  4. DP/30: Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Lucasfilm VFX Supervisors

    Much of what you saw in Star Wars: The Force Awakens was done in camera… and a lot wasn’t. Meet Roger Guyett (VFX Supervisor) and Patrick Tubach (VFX Supervisor), who headed the digital team on this film at Industriual Light & Magic. They talk to David Poland about bringing this landmark series back to life.

    The Star Wars On-Set FX Team:

    Shot in Los Angeles, January 2106

    Subscribe to DP/30 for more interviews:

    Original video:
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    —Huffduffed by adactio

  5. The Light Bulb 49: Chewie, We’re Home | StoryWonk

    Barely a month after its release, we finally get the chance to talk about Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens, and answer the most pressing question: great Star Wars movie, or greatest Star Wars movie?

    —Huffduffed by adactio

  6. Story And Star Wars 9: The Force Awakens | StoryWonk

    It’s been a long time coming, but it’s finally here, and it’s spoiler-filled: Star Wars: The Force Awakens!

    —Huffduffed by adactio

  7. ‘Awards Chatter’ Podcast — J.J. Abrams (‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’) - Hollywood Reporter

    The 49-year-old director of the highest-grossing movie of all time reacts to the film’s tremendous reception ("I’m incredibly grateful") and responds to its critics ("I can understand that someone might say, ‘Oh, it’s a complete rip-off!’ ").

    —Huffduffed by adactio

  8. Kevin Smith Reviews The Force Awakens *SPOILERS* - Fat Man on Batman 003

    Kevin and Marc give their weepy reviews of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and go all shiny and chome over Mad Max: Fury Road. SPOILERS

    Three times a week, Marc Bernardin and Kevin Smith talk about all the daily news in movie make believe, terrific TV and anything that squeaks in Geek!

    Original video:
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    —Huffduffed by adactio

  9. the vfx show #205: The Force Awakens | fxguide

    Mike Seymour, Jason Diamond and Matt Wallin head to a galaxy far, far away to discuss Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens.

    —Huffduffed by adactio

  10. H.I. #54: Star Wars Christmas Special

    Straight from the theaters and into the podcast, Brady and Grey give their first impression on Star Wars: The Force Awakens (once Brady finishes his gambling).

    —Huffduffed by adactio

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