Ponderance

(May 2003 - March 2007.) Tama's thoughts on the blogosphere, podcasting, popular culture, digital media and citizen journalism posted from a laptop computer somewhere in Perth's isolated, miniature, urban jungle ...

Saturday, May 22, 2004
THX 2004

THX 1138 is George Lucas' first and best film. It began as a student film in the late 1960s, and was turned into a feature film by writer/director Lucas in 1971, under the wing of producer Francis Ford Coppola. This is a dark, bleak film in which Robert Duvall's lead character, THX 1138, stops taking the mind-numbing drugs which had made him and everyone else into consumption-driven automatons. When I first saw this film in the mid-90s, it had a profound effect. When the Star Wars prequels started churing out, I was bitterly disappointed that the man who conceived THX 1138 could be making such consumerist tripe when his debut feature so eloquently satirised the culture of consumption. Now, it seems, Lucas has been tinkering with the past once more and is getting ready to release a 'Director's Cut' DVD of THX 1138 with digital enhancements and effects. While the assocaited documentaries sound interesting, and George Lucas actually doing a commentary on his film is pretty much unique, I'm still petrified that Lucas will tweak the story. All it would take is one "Greedo shoots first" morally driven re-edit to ruin the film. The Director's Cut trailer is here for your viewing: THX 1138: Special Edition Trailer (it's not actually marketed as a Special Edition, but try telling me it's not!).

I'm reminded of a passage in William Gibson's Pattern Recognition where he writes:
"You've seen the guerilla re-edit of the most recent Lucas?" … "They seem particularly to pick on him. One day we'll need archaeologists to help us guess the original storylines of even classic films." (p.68)
It almost seems that Lucas is taking the re-editing of films too much to heart and attempting to beat the fan-editors to the post. But George, there's nothing wrong with THX 1138! Please don't "update". Let us enjoy your original vision ...

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