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SXSW 2010: The case isn't made against George Lucas; 'Amer' dazzles

March 15, 2010 |  6:00 am


At South by Southwest in Austin, Texas, on Saturday, the world premiere of "The People vs. George Lucas" generated such an enormous line outside the Alamo Lamar that an additional midnight screening had to be added.

Intended as an indictment of Lucas' second trilogy of "Star Wars" films, Alexandre O. Philippe's documentary speaks to a person of a certain age -- mainly in their 30s or 40s, someone who was a child when the original films were released and holds the trilogy dear to their hearts.

It's a testament to Lucas' influence that people can even be so angry about the second set of films, but unfortunately, the most incendiary aspect of the documentary is its title. Assembled from original interviews and archival footage as well as some 600 hours of fan-made tributes and diatribes, the film tilts toward an affectionate tone of reconciliation. At the after-party, there was a DJ in a stormtrooper outfit, dancing women in "Slave Leia" costumes and an assortment of Boba Fetts, Darth Vaders and more lightsabers than you could shake a stick at. The air was certainly more celebratory than angry, as if the film might represent some catharsis for those who harbor lingering resentment over Jar Jar Binks.

Meanwhile, the festival films that seemed to garner the most buzz Saturday, if party chatter and Twitter feeds are any indication, were "Cold Weather" and "Marwencol." With a line that reportedly twisted around the block outside the Alamo Ritz, the response to the offbeat detective story "Cold Weather" surpassed even the high expectations that accompanied it going into the festival. "Marwencol," a documentary by Jeff Malmberg, got people talking about its portrait of a man who builds an intensely detailed miniature city as a means of recovering from a brutal attack that left him with brain damage. People seemed to marvel at Malmberg's ability to be at once sympathetic, insightful and non-exploitative toward his subject.

For those with the stamina, there was also the U.S. premiere of the much-buzzed Belgian genre title "Amer" at midnight. A loving tribute to the Italian "giallo" thrillers of the 1970s, the film plays as more a nightmare vision of desire and fear than as any sort of straightforward narrative. With a soundtrack of music from vintage giallo scores, as well as a remarkably detailed sound mix and gorgeous use of color, the film was a heady, dazzling and disorienting way to end a long day.

-- Mark Olsen

Photo: "Amer." Credit: SXSW

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What real life person still alive did George Lucas base Luke Skywalker?

What do the "Andy Griffith Show", the "Doctor is in segment" from Peanuts, "One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest", "The Godfather Part I, Part II, and Part III", and "RoboCop", have in common?

Who is the greatest trumpet player, ever? Why was he forced to quit playing the trumpet at 13? Why does he today live in violent poverty unable to find any work? If he gets out of the U.S. will he ever come back?

Is there a person who blind people can walk up to and look right in his eyes without either saying a word?

Where did the "would you believe" segment from "Get Smart" come from?

What is the name of the person Marlon Brando always referred to as, "that's my boy."?

In the movie "The Godfather" when Marlon Brando says, "look how they massacred my boy."?
What real life person not in the movie is Brando referring to?

What does the performance at the Improv in L.A. in 1997 under the eye of Bud Freidman of a new character by a hopeful comic, have to do with Tracy Morgan, Bobby Lee, Will Ferrel, Fran from the Improv, Sandy Byner(John Byner's daughter), and THE LIST.
What tape was stolen of wanna be comedians from a showcase set up by Bud Friedman at the Impov in L.A. in 1997, why was it stolen, and where did it go?
Why was a show and the entire slate at the Improv cancelled in June or July of 2005? For about a week their were no shows at the Improv. that has never happened before. SOMEBODY HAPPENED TO SHOW UP IN L.A.. what does that have to do with the show from 1997 including specific lines from one character THE HOLLYWOOD COMMUNITY WANTED, BUT THEY DIDN'T WANT THE PERSON WHO CREATED the character. was that show for Tracy Morgan? What does Chris Rock have to do with this?

Who was given one day of non-union extra work on NCIS cause they knew him, and even got to eat of the union truck(cause there was no other food-on Deadwood we couldn't eat the hot food. that was for people)?

Who was told by a cast member,just to humilate them, "you look like a regular" when playing someone from an insane asylym on "Cold Case" when they got one day non-union extra work, because they knew him.

Remember the TV show, "Run For Your Life."

Son, that's another show about you.
about me, Dad? i'm just a kid. beside how can they do that if its about me.
these people can do anything they want son or that show and other shows based
These people can do anything they want son. or those shows wouldn't be on the air.
can't you do anything about it?
i talked to people son. they say there is nothing we can do. they make lots of shows about you.
Why me?
Well, Son, you have something no one else has like the guy on that show.
what is it?
I can't tell you son. they won't let me.
they won't let you?
no, son, they have a gun to my head. they really do. not really, but you know what i mean. we've talked about things like that.
I understand. well, dad then i don't want to know?
Son, i'm going to have to do some things to you.
what do you mean?
son, i don't know how but i can see some things that are going to happen with you.
come on dad.
i know you don't believe me. things are pretty good for you right now. but later things are going to
be really hard for you. really hard. i'm sorry its going to be so hard on you. you're going to be really
lonely. i can't believe how lonely you're going to be. well, not really lonely. your're used to it by then. you, the way you are. everything you can do and your're all alone.
these things i'm going to do to you, you won' t like son. but if i don't
do these things now i know what you will do when you are all alone and its so hard. it's not just you son. anybody would do. even i'd do it. these things that i'm
going to do will enable you to survive, son. i've been a survivor son. that's why i'm here.
See that guy on that show. nobody knows whats in his blood. so when he goes somewhere people don't know who he is.
but you, no matter where you go people will find you.
no matter where i go.
no matter where you go.
i think they're
trying to tell you something, remember,son, run for your life.


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