What movie was that...?

28 February 2012

Star Wars Uncut: Director's Cut

directed by Casey Pugh

I’m using the word “directed” loosely here, because what Casey Pugh really did was provide a fascinating glimpse into the soul of the collective Star Wars culture, and the result is unlike anything I have ever seen. In 2009, Pugh asked fans from everywhere to submit their own filmic covers of scenes from the iconic (hate it or not, you know it’s true) George Lucas film Star Wars: A New Hope. What he received in response, and later compiled into the magnificent film embedded below, was a true blue love letter to a filmic series that has influenced nearly every aspect of storytelling and filmmaking that followed. The beauty of Star Wars Uncut is the myriad perspectives the compilation affords through the assumption that you know A New Hope by heart (and we all do, film lovers. Admit it), and with that assumption comes the freedom to explore the innuendos, interpretations, humor, mistakes and larger cultural reverberations of such an influential film. Hats way off to Aaron Valdez for nailing the monumental feat of editing the vastly different filmic pieces into a cohesive and wildly, endearingly mesmerizing whole that never lost me. The common thread of the soundtrack helped as well, but ultimately it’s the people who clearly love the film that make this whole thing work, and whether it’s a fairly well financed bit of remake, or a man dressed as Han Solo with a Millennium Falcon model on his head (genius, btw), or a guy watching the film (clutching an action figure) and reciting the lines in anxious anticipation, the result is pure emotion. And that’s a very rare thing these days. I have my problems with George Lucas and his soul sucking series (though the impact of the original trilogy cannot be minimized), but I’ll be damned if I didn’t love this version of A New Hope even more than original! I have watched Pugh’s film at least a dozen times since the Director’s Cut debuted on You Tube, and it only gets better with each viewing.

Personal favorites:
29 minutes 23 seconds: The animation and aural interpretation of this sequence blew my mind.
36 minutes 50 seconds: Love the Michel Gondryesque prop work here.
37 minutes 20 seconds: Genius!
47 minutes 4 seconds: Just love the vocoder. Never knew parsecs could be so sexy…
54 minutes and 53 seconds: Well, I mentioned it above, but I just loved how the guy dressed as Han Solo even though he was filming a long shot of the Falcon taking off. Of course he should dress as Han!
1 hour 3 minutes 58 seconds: Just fantastic!

Anyway, enjoy. It really is a marvel.

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