Ok, so I’m finally going to watch George Lucas’ first feature, THX 1138.
The DVD contains Lucas’ student film, Electronic Labyrinth: THX 1138 4EB.
Before I watch anything, however, I’d like to hear recommendations from someone who has seen both films about which I should watch first… does the student film act as a prologue to the feature in any way?
I haven’t seen the student film Max, but I would ask what would be the downside of watching it first since it was made prior to the other? It seems that would be the better path unless you are worried about the student film somehow ruining the feature.
I haven’t seen the student film either, but I’d highly recommend the original theatrical cut of THX 1138 over the director’s cut.
The theatrical cut has never been released on DVD, but the laserdisc version is floating around online.
Greg, in a diffferent THX thread, someone recommended the student film and not the feature itself, and said it would save time to see only the 15-minute short. So I guess I’m worried the student film will sum up the whole idea of THX in 15 minutes, which would make it less worthwhile to see the 85-minute film… if that makes sense.
Deimel, the DVD I have is the Director’s Cut, but I do have access to the original cut… I’d like to see them both, but I plan to watch the original first.
Ah, yes, that could make the feature less interesting at least.
I have seen both, and they are not very similar experiences. Electronic Labyrinth is, if you’re being kind, an experimental movie, if you’re being judgmental, a student film—a montage piece of sound and Soviet editing. It’s interesting and “labyrinthine” but it’s not exceptional, obviously a person getting used to using a camera and layering soundtracks onto film.
THX 1138 is, in my opinion, Lucas’ only good movie (that he directed). He did do one of those updating-it-for-later-graphics release things that I haven’t seen so I cannot speak to it. It too is slightly “experimental” in the idea that he sort of did a more graphic A Man Escaped minimalism—instead of relying on black and white and simple framing, a lot of work was put into the production design for the sheer white look.
A good double feature is THX 1138 and Brazil , then wait a week and watch Michael Radford’s 1984. Lots of fun to compare and contrast, and all were released decently close to each other.
Wait, what? THX was around long before those other two films, am I misunderstanding you Polaris? I mean I saw it several years before the others myself at a local revival theater.
Oops, I thought it was late 70s, not early.
“THX 1138 is, in my opinion, Lucas’ only good movie (that he directed)”
personally i think it’s his most visionary film, but it doesn’t really come together as a whole for me, even if it’s good.
I prefer Star Wars and American Graffiti.
Well I am very much not a fan of American Graffiti and as we all know, Star Wars didn’t start REALLY takin’ off until it was directed by other people!
^the best part of THX is the opening imo.
it’s pure cinema
Yeah, the opening is pretty good, and it has a good look and some promising ideas, I just wasn’t thrilled by the follow through on its premise, but I too still think it’s the best thing Lucas has directed overall, although I can’t deny the impressive work he got out of all the craftspeople on Star Wars, just wish he knew anything about actual people, either in terms of characters, dialogue or getting a decent performance.
^^agree the follow through is lacking. it’s a frustrating watch for me, because it does so many things right, and looks quite daring and visionary and certainly unique within the genre, but it falls short of greatness.
btw, has anyone noticed how oddly edited the first 15-20 mins of Star Wars is? it’s strangely elliptical. almost like George was confused and thought he was making something more abstract before coming to his senses ;-)
Yeah, those are the best parts of the whole movie too, some nice visuals going on there which made for some solid introductions to the universe he was trying to create.
It’s a movie I really have no problem forgetting most of because the visuals stand on their own. I acknowledge Joks’ complaint about it not coming together as a whole but the visual motif tells the story on its own, even if it’s but a simple one.
Also at the beginning they set their lasers to stun, which is never done again for the entire franchise. There are also lines unlike anything else in the film: “If this is a diplomatic ship, then where’s the ambassador?” I see those first 15 minutes as a glimpse into another direction the film could have taken before they figured out how to make it marketable.