Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Momentary Geek Out

The blog has slowed down a good bit lately because of my graduate studies. Learning Hebrew doesn't leave much time for waxing eloquent about the theological flavor of the week. In the long run I hope it will make me a much better thinker and writer over all. So in lieu of doing my own good thinking I divert to an entirely non-theological thought on film making from very possibly the most underrated film maker of our time. Irvin Kershner. Most well known for directing "Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back", 'Kersh' as his friends called him never made it big in hollywood. For the person willing to seek out his movies however he made some amazingly moving and thoughtful films. His perspectives on film making are almost lost on hollywood today, so I thought it might be refreshing to air a few of them out here. From an interview with sound and vision magazine ( Kershner talks about what really makes movies good, and where Star Wars (read all of Hollywood) has gotten off track....

Were you chosen to direct specifically because you would give more humanity to the characters?

We never talked about that. I was just supposed to make a terrific film, one that was better than the first one. But how do you make a terrific film? Do you put in more action than the first one? No, action is not what it's about. It's about characters, and caring about them. And that's where I wanted to put the emphasis - on the people.

Do you think that the new Star Wars films have moved too much toward the technology and away from the characters?

Who am I to comment when the audience loves them? But I feel that maybe George is sacrificing some of the potential for drama - the interior drama that that kind of film needs - for the terrific technology. I mean, he's getting giant scenes, thousands of robots rolling along and things flying around. They are amazing. To me, though, they're nothing to do with emotion. And I also wonder about Yoda. I think maybe Yoda should have been kept a little bit closer to what I had, a man who says, "Don't get angry. If you get angry, you're going to lose." Now he gets angry. This is a different interpretation. But nobody knows the subject better than George, so if this is what he feels it needs, that's it. The audience likes them, the kids love them, and they do have a look that no other films have.

You know Kershner, may he rest in peace, was right. He was right, the fans liked them, but not nearly in the culture shifting way the original films were received. And I think he's right in his assessment. A culture that constantly sees things bigger, faster, angrier, and more powerful, doesn't necessarily understand itself better.

I'm done geekin out. Time to go study vowel points.

1 comment:

  1. "Time to go study vowel points." wait, i thought you just said you were DONE geeking out... :)