My 100 favourite films. Entry #19: THX 1138.

THX 1138 (1971)
directed by George Lucas
starring Robert Duvall, Maggie McOmie and Donald Pleasence
country: USA
genre: Sci-fi

Visuals: 9
Writing: 4
Everyday watchability: 3

I said the last movie was weird. I lied. THX is weird. It's about a dystopian future where everyone is required to shave their head and take mind-numbing drugs that keep them from feeling. Sex and love are outlawed, and you repent to a mechanical Jesus. I guess it sounds weirder than it is, because the movie is generally quite coherent. I say generally because Lucas takes his time with scenery of the future, and while it really adds to the reality of the entire situation, sometimes one has to wonder what the frig is going on. One scene (depicted in the fifth picture down) has two unseen voices controlling THX 1138's body movements and presumably nervous system for unknown purposes. I know what they're doing, but don't have a clue why they're doing it. Because they can maybe? Much of the movie is like this. I understand what's going on (they're making androids, they're watching a man beat another man on television, they' to mechanical Jesus) but I know nought why.

The movie is technically brilliant. Walter Murch does the sound design, and as many current sound designers will probably tell you, he's a God (Ben Burtt being Jesus I suppose). The sounds are bizarre but completely natural within the space. The editing is again perfect, with shots lingering just long enough, but never too long, keeping the movie at an even pace throughout.

One caveat: George Lucas messed this movie up the same way he messed up the original Star Wars films. He digitally added people, things and explosions to "tell the story the way he originally wanted it told." What a load of hogwash. You made the movie. It was complete. It was good. You just added things for the sake of doing it. Just because you can doesn't mean you should George Lucas. As a side note, I'm probably going to get sued just for posting thumbnails from one of his films.


1 comment(s).:

July 5, 2008 at 10:12 AM Timber Beast said...

This seems right "up your alley":

Over at Freakonomics, there's a "bleg for assistance in identifying the most memorable cinematic quotes of the 21st century so far. Please identify the film as well as the quote."

Here's the link: