George Lucas in Love
I almost passed over this title on the DVD shelf at Goodwill, but then my eyes snapped back, wondering what the hell this could be. What it is, is a USC student film that very cleverly combines Shakespeare in Love with just about every Star Wars reference you could imagine. It’s 1967 and poor George is banging away at the typewriter, desperately trying to finish a screenplay he must hand in to get his degree, tossing page after page into the trash compactor. (Get it? In the first movie, where they’re all trapped in the garbage disposal? Cute.) “Quite a while ago in some other galaxy somewhere …” Nah. “Many years ago in a neighboring galaxy …” Nah. So he goes out on campus to speak with his faculty adviser, who just happens to talk just like Yoda. In the background he passes a dozen things that will eventually be incorporated into the movie, but doesn’t notice any of them. Then, as he sits despondently in a screening room, the door opens and there she is, the image of Princess Leia’s weird hairdo … It’s only eight minutes long, and I liked it quite a bit. It is available online on Vimeo, so why not check it out? If you’re like me, I’ll bet you will waste more time than that doing other pointless shit today.
Evil Hill (1999) Since it’s so damn short (there are a lot of extras to fill it out, but still) three other student films are included. This one combines Notting Hill which I’ve never seen, with an origin story for Dr. Evil from the Austin Powers moves. I’ve only seen one of those. So my understanding of this one was minimal. I’m sure I missed most of the jokes, so I won’t offer an opinion except to say that it looks good.
Film Club (2000) Gangs of budding cinematographers battle it out in parking lots and grungy basements. The first rule of film club is to never talk about film club. I didn’t care for this one.
Swing Blade (1997) A mash-up of Sling Blade and Swingers. Again, I know nothing about that last one. I will say that Chris Cox, who plays the Billy Bob Thornton part, is uncannily good. At first I thought it really was good ol’ Billy Bob.