With an encyclopaedic knowledge of film, and 45 years of experience in the industry, William Friedkin is as expansive a raconteur about the world of cinema as you could hope to meet. In town to promote his new film Killer Joe, he talked at length about the filming of French Connection, the current studio system, and why violence is a compelling subject matter.
(Apologies for the unwieldy title)
More a way of interacting with the people around you than a set of 3 blinding movies now. I frequently manage entire conversations composed entirely of Star Wars quotes (mind you, that’s not to say the person I’m is talking to has any idea what I’m on about, but then that’s hardly a novelty). More than any other movie franchise I can think of, there is a sense of personal ownership among the fans of Star Wars – that it is inalienably ours. Perhaps this explains people’s unusual fondness for re-imagining the films as YouTube curios.
Australian-Belgian singer Gotye’s song Somebody That I Used To Know, with its pitch-perfect lyrics about the dissolution of a relationship and inventive video clip, was one of the defining musical hits of 2011. Here, duo Tyler and Eddie – aka Teddie Films – rework the lyrics to describe the disillusionment they feel at George Lucas’ constant re-tinkering with the original canon (most recently his replacement of puppet Yoda with a CGI Yoda for the release of the Blu-Ray edition of Empire Strikes Back). Throw in a perfectly observed recreation of the video (complete with naked George Lucas) and you have YouTube gold.
Richard Cheese really only has one gag – to take pop songs and re-work them into cheesy lounge-style classics – but from time to time he can hit on something giddily transcendent. So it is with his take on Copacobana as a ditty about the Mos Eisley Cantina. Han Solo really does have a smile 12 parsecs wide.
Movie trailers these days are more likely than not to give away, if not simply the entire plot of a film, than certainly All Of The Best Bits. Trailers aren’t cut the way they used to be – evocative, thoughtful, teasing glimpses of What A Film May Be. The 1977 Star Wars trailer is absolutely tantalising. Ace score, too.
“What am I supposed to do – stash her in some itty bitty hole up there in Nigger Town and go sneaking up there at night?” James Earl Jones has one of the most distinctive voices in film and theatre. Darth Vader’s mouth doesn’t move. So it’s a stroke of simple, ineluctable genius to re-dub Darth Vader with some of the choicest quotes from Earl Jones’ celluloid back catalogue. The result? The badassest Vader in town.
The grand-daddy of all Star Wars-related internet videos. Red Letter Media eviscerate that which most deserves scorn in popular culture (their assessment of Prometheus recently was a thing of simple beauty) with penetrating insight and the slavish devotion of a true geek. In a series of three feature-length videos, one for each of the films, they ruthlessly and ever-so-accurately rip apart the atrocities that were the Star Wars Prequels. Considerably more entertaining than watching the films themselves.