Go

Filmism.net Dispatch February 11, 2012

  • Share
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

I've often talked about how our taste in movies is a fluid thing, morphing and changing according to all sorts of factors from our age to other movies we've seen. I met the phenomenon head on after rewatching both Donnie Darko and Unbreakable a second time and our context can even change when it comes to actors, like it did for me after seeing David Wenham in 1998's very scary The Boys.

But for films to do that to us, do you think it should be us that changes, not the movie? Shouldn't a film be a document of itself, the time it was made, the filmmaking technology available and the storytelling trends that prevailed?

Another round of Lucas hate has erupted after the 3D re-release of Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace (and yes, I'm breaking my month long moratorium on Star Wars news a week early.

Once again Lucas has digitally rejigged scenes and even entire characters from the 1999 release. To name just two, Anakin Skywalker (Jake Lloyd) has a harder time in the podrace, momentarily losing one of the cables that tethers the pod to the forward engines, and the creepy rubber Yoda has been replaced with the digital version from Episodes 2 and 3.

Lucas undoubtedly has the legal right to change his own work (not to mention the power), but what about the moral right? There are few discussions livelier than whether Greedo or Han shoots first (this week Lucas told The Hollywood Reporter Han never shot first, it was a framing issue. The collective online cultural consciousness web responded with 'bullshit').

Because we all have warm memories of the original films. Lucas always thought Bespin's smooth white hallways in The Empire Strikes Back made the cloud city feel claustrophobic. So the first chance he got (in the 1997 special edition re-release) he replaced them with digital animations of Bespin's outdoor scenes.

It indeed made Bespin feel different, but suddenly there was no definitive version of The Empire Strikes Back to love any more. We had to refer to it like the best year of a wine, a single version in an increasingly fragmentary collection. Something about that just doesn't feel right.

At the other end of the scale from the world's most famous space opera I covered the small, dramatic thriller Man on a Ledge recently. It was a shame about the movie, but it was a bit of a treat to interview stars Sam Worthington, Elizabeth Banks and Ed Burns.

© 2011-2016 Filmism.net. Site design and programming by psipublishinganddesign.com | adambraimbridge.com | humaan.com.au