March 13th End of Day report – As I write this, I just came out of the documentary THE PEOPLE VS. GEORGE LUCAS (more info here), a sharply put-together observation of the fandom surrounding George Lucas and the STAR WARS franchise. I was admittedly a little nervous about what to expect from Alexandre O. Phillippe’s film, as the title may lead one to believe this could be an outright attack on Lucas the man, and only showing one side of the debate. Thankfully, that is not the case at all. Instead, the film begins with a rather positive look into the myth and magic of the franchise, and the fascinating beginnings of George’s career as a filmmaker. In many ways it opens with the feel of a sincere documentary about a man we all think we know so well. But eventually there are showcases of fan sadness, primarily in the feelings of not just disrespect by Lucas, but outright abandonment to the fandom itself. There is certainly the point that George is a master marketing machine, and merchandising fueled perhaps more than a few of his decisions (for better or worse). But there’s also a safe amount of reverse justification given, and the reality that despite your feelings on the second life (or lives) of the popular franchise… the man did give us something truly amazing to start with, and THAT is why we can’t completely persecute him. It’s a masterfully told doc, and paced with energy and fun. My thanks to Kerry Deignan Roy for getting me info ahead of time on this. We’ve been following this one pretty close, and it was already on our Top 10 films we were most looking forward to at SXSW. The screening tonight was so popular and in such high demand, the Alamo Ritz on Lamar Theater has to accommodate an encore presentation for their midnight secret screening slot. I think it’s safe to say you’ll be hearing a lot more about this film. I’ll be talking to the folks behind THE PEOPLE VS. GEORGE LUCAS in the next few days, and we’ll have more on this, so stay tuned.
After tackling subjects such as the collapse of the World Trade Center and American foreign policy, Etienne Sauret tells the story of Dr. Alexander “Sasha” Shulgin, the chemist who left the corporate realm to research the effects of MDMA (aka Ecstasy) and over 200 other mind-altering drugs. Sauret’s documentary “Dirty Pictures” premieres Saturday, March 13 at the 2010 SXSW Film Festival. Devin Pike spoke with Sauret on the making of the documentary, and the complex moralities involved with researching and developing psychedelic drugs.
For the Day One report (KICK-ASS red carpet interviews) GO HERE
For our Day Two PREDATORS report (poster debut, interviews) GO HERE