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The Greatest Artist of Our Time is a Filmmaker

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    According to Camille Paglia in the Chronicle Review Section B October 19 issue, the greatest artist of our time is a filmmaker, and none other than George Lucas.




    I think I’ll take whatever she’s smoking. Wilful contrarianism I think.

    As I commented here, its pretty clear that she never watched Hidden Fortress as she clearly buys the line that he only borrowed the characters of R2D2 and C3PO from Kurosawa – clearly there is so much more.

    There isn’t any question I think that Lucas was very important, but even compared to, say, anything from Pixar or Studio Ghibli, his use of folklore to create modern stories is very crude. I don’t have the dislike of Lucas many people seem to have, but he pales beside so many of the best filmmakers of the past few decades, let along writers or artists in other fields.



    Ugetsu; ..

    .”let along writers or artists in other fields. “

    think that was her point..that writers et al; are done-at least in a populist sense. Is film the popular art form of our time? Uh..yeah. Yes it is.

    I love your apt phrase “wilful contrarianism”…and think that’s been her modus operandi…lo, these many years…! But, I thought she kinda lost it in this essay…because Lucas is such a safe bet for populist creds. Just, the other bit of it…the artist bit of it…not quite sure he is at the top! Agreed.

    I was happy though, to be reminded in her essay detailing how amazing the special effects looked at the time. Apropos of the discussion of Godzilla-the speed and flash of Star Wars was really quite something. Godzilla flashed associatively when she detailed the slow-moving action of earlier science fiction. Unfortunately, my eyeballs are still seared from the effect of Lucas’ vision chanelled forward into the Avengers in 3-D. Ouch, my eyes hurt!



    I’m not sure either if “artist” here is the right word. I’m a little hesitant about “filmmaker”, as well. And “greatest” could perhaps be replaced with “(one of) the most influential”. I think Lucas has always been more of an artisan than an artist, and an extremely capable businessman. A visionary artisan businessman.

    I respect Lucas a great deal, even if I can’t really say I like any of the films he has made, save for a couple of the Indiana Jones ones. But then there is LucasArts, which I loved and adored until they sort of lost it as times changed.

    Star Wars and Indiana Jones did of course have a huge influence on everything. As did Industrial Light & Magic. And I would say that LucasArts was similarly influential at one point in the history of video games, although they did fall behind the times and have sadly ended up mainly concentrating on Star Wars stuff.

    But yeah, “wilful contrarianism”. Couldn’t have put it better.



    $4.05 billion is not bad at all. Well done, George.



    Lord, Star Wars episode 7 in 2015….!

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