Opening today in NYC’s Cinema Village, with a rollout to other cities in the coming weeks: THE PEOPLE VS GEORGE LUCAS
Alexandre O Philippe’s loving tribute to the cantankerous fan culture around STAR WARS had its world premiere at SXSW last year, and went on to screen at notable doc and general fests, including Hot Docs, Edinburgh, Silverdocs, and LAFF, among many others.
The film looks at the fans’ relationship to the Force of the STAR WARS universe, George Lucas, and how his follow ups to the original trilogy, and his tinkering with those first films via re-edited Special Editions, has led to polarization. While the prequels are the subject of much criticism, one of the most interesting sections of Philippe’s film focuses on a close reading of a particularly controversial edit in the original films that, for some, constitute revisionist propaganda. Interviews with self-styled fan “experts” and notables like Neil Gaiman and Chris Gore illuminate the impact the saga has on individuals, and fan films and videos offer an intriguing look at the interplay between fandom and the official architects of their most treasured narratives – who sometimes take their stories in directions the fans can’t stand. This core aspect of THE PEOPLE VS GEORGE LUCAS takes the film far, far away from being just the domain of hardcore STAR WARS junkies to appeal to casual viewers of Lucas’ films or even to non-fans who might recognize similar obsessions with other pop culture franchises (STAR TREK, TWILIGHT, HARRY POTTER, etc etc).
Update: Philippe and one of the film’s producers, Robert Muratore, have just announced their next project, taking the pulse of another recent pop culture phenomenon: THE LIFE AND TIMES OF PAUL THE PSYCHIC OCTOPUS, their exclusive documentary biopic about last year’s World Cup predicting cephalopod. A trailer and more info on the project can be found at the film’s website.