Rafa\’s Corner of Nonsense, Part Deux

… where Rafa\’s thoughts see the light of day…

On the dangers of a director considering himself an “artiste

There comes a certain time in every director’s or actor’s life when, in their minds, they metamorphose from an “artist” to an “artiste” [read with hoity-toity French accent]. They suddenly believe their view on all things artistic is somehow superior than everyone else’s, and that they have some God-given right to show the world how their aesthetics surpass everyone else’s.

I don’t know exactly WHEN this happened to George Lucas, but it’s safe to say that “Star Wars” had something to do with it.

As you may or may not know (if you’re residence of late has been “Under-A-Rock Street”), this week the long-awaited DVD release of the original “Star Wars” trilogy came out. I was one of the many fans that on Tuesday flocked to their nearest computer superstore (read “Fry’s”) to buy my copy (on widescreen format, of course: I accidentally touched one of the full-screen versions and had to ritualistically wash my hands for hours, à la Lady MacBeth: can you believe they actually put out a full-screen version at all?? Anyhoo… that’s another rant for another day).

The thing is that Lucas, ever the “artiste,” has decided to make even more post-Special Edition changes to the movies, from digitally changing scenes to including Ian McDiarmid as the Emperor on “Empire Strikes Back,” to, more offensively, adding Hayden Christensen as Anakin Skywalker in ghost form at the end of “Return of the Jedi.” And, to add insult to injury, there are no deleted scenes (as is the staple of most DVDs nowadays): Lucas insists that these movies are “his realized vision,” so obviously, including deleted scenes to the immense delight of all fans would be unthinkable, because if he removed them in the first place, then they obviously are unworthy of watching and would thus tarnish his “vision.”

You might wonder, if you’re still reading my diatribe and are of the curious sort, why the hell did I buy the DVD set when I so obviously have issues with Lucas’ modifications to the original trilogy (and, more accurately, his general mental health)? Well, I am a realist: I know that they are his movies, and we’re gonna get only the version he foists on us. I realize he has more money than I could ever imagine, to the point where the number starts becoming ridiculous in terms of how much any single human being could ever possibly spend, so me not buying the DVDs is not so much me “depriving him” of my $36 (yes, they’re on sale at Fry’s this week: hurry!), but rather depriving myself of a high-quality version of the movies I love so much (even if they are in a somewhat adulterated, violated form).

So, what is your take on the matter? Anger, apathy, hunger, sleepiness…? Share with the class. 😀

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September 22, 2004 Posted by | Rant | 4 Comments

George Lucas: Brilliant director, or egocentric, over-rated overlord of Evil?

I think it’s “egocentric, over-rated overlord of Evil.”

Discuss. 😀

September 22, 2004 Posted by | Thinker | 4 Comments