Stayed up late last night, I did.
Empire Of Dreams was absolutely fascinating, to me, and to those with whom I watched it. I'm sure each one of us took something different away from it.
As an author, my sympathies went out to George Lucas at the point where Harrison Ford was explaining how George Lucas (with his author hat on) thought that the screen play contained everything necessary for the parts to be acted, and could not understand why the actors were making such a mean of certain scenes.
I thoroughly appreciated the story behind the carbon freezing, where Harrison was supposed to tell Leia, "I love you, too," and ended up improvising, "I know."
How cool, though, that George Lucas was his own editor. I especially liked the detail about that clip at the end of the fight with the sand person, where they needed more action but didn't have footage, so instead of having him brandish his weapon over his head just once, as filmed, they copied and spliced so he shook it in the air three times.
The insight that I appreciate most (at this moment) was the fact that the actor inside Darth Vader's helmet was pronouncing --and acting-- from one script, and Luke was reacting to another.
Now that really was the ultimate in saying one thing and meaning another... or of not being on the same page! I suppose it wasn't really much different from script management for Who Shot JR...? But it seemed deeper to this viewer.
I knew that Darth Vader's voice had been dubbed in later, but how cool it was to hear the difference in soundtrack when the original actor spoke. What a difference the "right" voice makes! Or the right howls. Wasn't it fascinating that Chewbacca originally had lines? Talking of Chewbacca, I greatly enjoyed the revelation that some of the movie makers were worried about the Wookie's lack of underwear. I'd noticed that uncivilized omission only the night before.
On Thursday night I tried to watch The Empire Strikes Back. I have it out from the library too, but it's a VCR and in almost unwatchably bad condition. Imagine my joy when it was on TV on Friday night. I was very pleased to see swordmaster Bob Anderson's name in the credits as a stunt double. (Recently I blogged about the account I'd read in By The Sword of why a genuine swordsman, not an actor, had to perform Darth Vader's fight with Luke.)
The music was something else I'd never really thought about--apart from the "declarative" Imperial theme for whenever Darth Vader stalked across the screen, like the wolf theme in Peter And The Wolf, only much more wicked.
How fascinating that the composer had recently finished the score for Jaws, where the
antagonist got the catchy, sinister theme music! What a twist for those of us accustomed to the Bond theme... the Here Comes The Hero refrain. When the movie music is really, really good, I don't notice it much, apart from the theme tunes. It's amusing what a difference a good orchestra makes to an aerial dogfight, isn't it?
I've watched a lot of The Making Of... documentaries, but I don't think I've grasped how much goes into making a great movie quite as vividly as I did last night, watching Empire Of Dreams.
What did you like best?
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