' ' Cinema Romantico: Lucas's Ego Strikes Again!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Lucas's Ego Strikes Again!

As I perused the Entertainment Weekly Summer Movie Preview issue I happened upon an interview with George Lucas & Steven Spielberg concerning their massively anticipated movie, "Indiana Jones and The Crystal Skull". The first question posed by EW interviewer Steve Daly was, "So why resurrect Indy after all these years?" The following was Lucas's response, verbatim.

"We're doing it to have fun. We're not doing it to say, Oh, we're gonna get an Academy Award, everybody's gonna love us.... We don't need the money. We're only going to get aggravation. The fans think it's gonna be the Second Coming. And it's not the Second Coming. They've already written the story [in their heads], and lemme tell ya, it's not that story. So they're going to be very disappointed. I went through this with Phantom Menace. Believe me, I've been there, I've done it, I know exactly the way they react. And they're very vocal about these things. We're not gonna have adoring fans sending us e-mails saying how much they loved the movie. We're gonna have a bunch of angry people saying, 'You're a bunch of a--holes, you should never have done this. You've ruined my life forever. I loved Indiana Jones so much and now it's ruined.' And all that kind of stuff."

Okay, bear with me here as I try to understand what it is he's saying. It's not that "The Phantom Menace" was a bad movie, it's that the fans didn't understand it. It's not that he made a god-awful film, it's that we somehow mistook quality for god-awfulness. It's not his fault, it's our fault. All the blame should be laid at the fans' feet, not his feet. He should be excused and we should all look ourselves in the mirror and curse our names because we're the idiots.

Even if he makes what appears to be a bad movie it is most likely our meager intelligence as fans not allowing us to recognize the full meaning of his irrefutable brilliance.

George Lucas is God. Everything he makes is good. Don't send him strongly worded emails about the insipid quality of his "Stars Wars" prequels when they were quite clearly the finest films ever made. Baa, sheep! Baa!

I am your humble servant, Mr. Lucas, and I apologize for ever having doubted you. In fact, I'm going to re-rent "Radioland Murders" this very evening. I'm now certain I must have mistook gut-busting humor for yawn-inducing chasms of terrible comedic filmmaking!


Wretched Genius said...

I think you read this completely wrong. He never claims nor implies a quality level of his films. He is simply illustrating (correctly) that with a franchise that draws this much devotion from the fans, there is no way for the filmmaker to win.

I'm never one to defend this guy, but I understand the point he's making in the interview and think you are misinterpreting his statement.

Nick Prigge said...

It can be difficult for filmmakers to win in these situations. Absolutely. But, come on, there's a lot of smugness in that comment, too. If a film is unsuccessful, blame the fans.

So now if the new "Indiana Jones" is not well received he's cut everyone off at the pass. "I told you they wouldn't like it...."

Wretched Genius said...

I didn't read it as smugness. To me he came across as a guy who's been through it so many times that he just accepts it as an inevitability. And where are you getting this "blame the fans" theme? He never says that the fans are to blame for anything, just that they are very difficult to satisfy. He's saying that he doesn't make movies for the fans' reactions, but just for the fun of filmmaking. Why is that smug?

Nick Prigge said...

"The fans think it's gonna be the Second Coming. And it's not the Second Coming." I never expected his prequels to be the second coming. "They've already written the story [in their heads], and lemme tell ya, it's not that story." I never wrote any stories in my head. I just wanted him to make a good movie and he didn't. He's still under the impression he made three masterpieces and that because the fans had already written the stories in their heads, apparently, his genius has yet to be appreciated.

Perhaps smug is wrong the word. I'll change it to delusional.

Burbanked said...

What Lucas doesn't acknowledge is that there's one very, very BEST way to shut the fans up when they've "already written the movie in their heads" and are expecting "the second coming".

And that's to make a great movie.

It's a simple thing, but clearly not everyone can do it. The prequels were fascinating achievements, but they simply weren't great films. And although I'll slightly disagree that Lucas is completely blaming the fans for their unreasonable expectations, he sure as hell isn't taking any of the blame on himself.

I don't expect he ever will, and ultimately it doesn't matter. We're entitled to our silly opinions, and he's entitled to make whatever movie he wants to.

And as long as Spielberg's standards are still quite a bit higher than that, I'm just fine with it all.