Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Lucas on His Blockbuster "Disney Movie"

I'm just finished with Easy Riders, Raging Bulls by Peter Biskind, and I can't recommend it highly enough. Yes, it's gossipy. Yes, it's prurient. Yes, it's built on talking to many people who have vendettas against one another. But it's also a lot of fun (partly for those very reasons I just listed, of course), and the larger story it tells is an epic one of artistic fools, foolish artists, and the brief period when Hollywood was devoted to a truly strange (and sometimes rewarding) process.

There are a thousand things to quote (no, more), but I'll just share a couple from George Lucas, about Star Wars. I already knew that Brian De Palma, after screening the movie, accused Lucas of "vaporizing the audience," and Biskind relates that rant. But I also thought Lucas' thoughts about what the movie would be, and how well it would succeed, are great:
“You can make this picture for teenagers, late teenagers, early twenties, or you play it for kids, and that’s what we’re going for, eight- and nine-year-olds. This is a Disney movie.”
And later, discussing the potential audience:
“Only kids -- I’ve made a Walt Disney movie, a cross between Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory and The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes. It’s gonna do maybe eight, ten million.”
If, like me, you hadn't heard of The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes, here's a summary. (Even better, here's the tremendous opening credits sequence -- has there ever been a better title song for a movie?)

Anyway, back to Lucas. I think he was right about his movie. It is for nine- and ten-year-olds. I know how much I loved it at that age. His miscalculation was in not being able to see that my generation would be the one that would cling to its 10-year-old cultural tastes for life.


Anonymous Kevin Longrie said...

If you're like me, you were introduced to A Computer Wore Tennis Shoes through the Disney Channel Original Remake (yep) of it starring the one and only Kirk Cameron who, after an electrical storm in the computer lab, downloads the entire internet onto his brain. Then, he knows all the facts, except one! One fact on the internet, a date, is off by a few years, and it's this that will be his downfall.

Also, computer viruses can be transformed into a sound and played over the phone.

Also, I haven't seen this film in over ten years. What's wrong with me.

5:37 PM  
Blogger Barry said...

I think the last paragraph is the greatest comment on our generation ever. Visceral, eviscerating and damnably true!

9:51 PM  

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