Sunday, December 6, 2009

In the next re-release, I will shoot first...

I didn't think I was the first one to think of Lucas as a skilled craftsman with a very limited toolbox, but it's great to find something like this in Robin Wood's Hollywood from Vietnam to Reagan:

"If we are to continue using the term 'imagination' to apply to a William Blake, we have no business using it of a George Lucas. Imagination and what is popularly referred to as pure fantasy (actually there is no such thing) are fundamentally incompatible. Imaginatin is a force that strives to graps and transform the world, not restore "the good old values". What we can justly credit Lucas with (I use the name, be it understood, to stand for his whole production team) is facility of invention, especially on the level of special effects and makeup and the creation of a range of cute or sinister or grotesque fauna (human and non-human)." (166-167) [emphasis mine]
So far, in skimming Wood, I'm quite impressed by his evaluation of Larry Cohen as well. I'm not so impressed by his hedging on Marxism (though I do agree that there's something weird about how reluctant people are to consider discussing something different from capitalism on a basic level in a free country such as ours).

E.T.A. Although Wood seems to think James Earl Jones is British and white. And he claims Lando Calrissian offers no prospect of revolution or subversion. Even though his first appearance in the cycle shows him betraying the white American hero? I won't argue totally with Wood's general claims about the handling of race in the Star Wars trilogy, but Lando seems to be one of Lucas & Co.'s few attempts at moral complexity (more so than Han, at least, after the first movie).


Eve said...

The imagination vs. facility of invention distinction, while certainly not ironclad, also does a decent job of explaining JK Rowling. She's got a ton of fantastic fauna and sparkly stuff and intriguing character _moments_, but I would not say she is an imaginative writer.

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