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February 27, 2011

On Star Wars and the selling-out of George Lucas

Emma Peel Sessions 51 – In our hour of triumph? | supervillain.
Things I know about Star Wars: I know that Brian De Palma helped rewrite the opening crawl. That there were originally going to be 11 sequels, designed to be bashed out cheaply and pay for Lucas’ own studio that he could share with his buddies. There is an excised opening sequence where Darth Vader singlehandedly takes down an entire starship through the vacuum of space, culminating in a motherfucker lightsaber battle with Luke Skywalker’s father. I know that it was a disaster until Marcia Lucas re-edited it. I know that when Howard Chaykin saw the film stills of the movie when he was assigned to adapt into a comic, he thought it was going to tank horribly and ended up basing all his work on Ralph McQuarrie’s concept paintings. I know that the film premiered at a comic convention with a fucking Chaykin poster he drew without ever seeing the film. I know that Lucas went somewhat crazy while writing the original, fairly gargantuan script and started shaving his head in ritualistic samurai style, that Jedi is a pidgin version of jidaigeki, that Lucas showed the thing to his friends and Steven Spielberg’s wife laughed uncontrollably at the original edit. That Lucas intimated hiring David Cronenberg to direct Empire Strikes Back and when he refused underhandedly hired his cinematographer. That he tried the same thing with David Lynch for Return of the Jedi and was heartbroken when Lynch told him he never “got” the whole Wookie thing. That he originally cut all the emotional core out of Empire Strikes back until Kurtz, Kasdan, and Kershner had a mini-mutiny on him. That it was originally called “Revenge of the Jedi” and ended way darker with Solo dying in the opening ten minutes and Luke abandoning Leia that copied the ending of the Searchers, and Lucas mercinarily rewrote it to monetize it as he was going through the worst part of his divorce. That entire sequences in all of his movies are stolen from Kurosawa, something which Lucas felt massively guilty about. That Lucas had panic attacks almost every day while they shot in Tunisia. That Lucas didn’t base the film on Joseph Campbell so much as cobble elements from a dozen trash sources and then sell it on those Hero With A Thousand Faces concepts. Star Wars is like Jaws or Casablanca, a movie that was made through a series of disasters and failures – it’s an accident that it got made at all. Lucas’ vision never fully made it to the screen and THAT’S why it is a true work of art.
*Thanks, Jeff!*

February 15, 2011

Felicia Day to star in live-action Dragon Age web series

Dragon Age: Redemption - GayGamer.net
Felicia Day has been teasing a #mysteryproject on Twitter recently, giving names of people with whom she's working. This morning she has revealed the contents of the #mysteryproject, which is Dragon Age: Redemption, a six-episode web series to launch later this year. According to USA Today, Day has created an original story around Tallis, an elven assassin. As to the personality behind the character? Day states: Tallis is headstrong, she fights dirty, and she has a really sarcastic sense of humor. I wanted to bring a modern sensibility to a fantasy character in a fantasy world. The plot will revolve around Tallis going on a quest so as to capture a renegade mage. Naturally, in a world like Dragon Age, this means grabbing a few companions, which may prove tricky, admits Day.

February 11, 2011

Must Watch: If John Hughes made a Legend of Zelda film

February 10, 2011

The Complete Oral History of Party Down

Love this show. Love oral histories of tv. The Complete Oral History of Party Down: Movies TV : Details
When Party Down premiered on Starz in March 2009, it barely made a blip. Despite a cast of comedy all-stars like Jane Lynch, Ken Marino, Adam Scott, and Martin Starr, and a production team including film star Paul Rudd and Veronica Mars creator Rob Thomas, the show—about an incompetent catering service in Los Angeles—ran under the radar for its entire first season. A cult following discovered the series via the Internet and Netflix, and enough buzz began that TV critics and entertainment blogs began to take notice, earning the first season of the series a nod as one of the best television programs of 2009 from the American Film Institute alongside Mad Men, Friday Night Lights, and Modern Family. Combining shades of Christopher Guest's mockumentaries, Judd Apatow's slacker heroes, and the painful reality-based humor of The Office, Party Down was textbook cutting-edge comedy. (Marino also got hit in the nuts a lot.) But devoted viewers and critical acclaim weren't enough to keep the show alive—it was canceled after only the second season. Now, for the first time—and for no reason except that the show was really good and we miss it, so we asked them to do it—the entire core cast and creative team tell the behind-the-scenes story of the creation and cancellation of Party Down. . . .