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JUST FOR FUN: “George Lucas in Love”

7 Sep

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Star Wars via Shakespeare In Love. Not the most likely of pairings, however, the end result, ‘George Lucas in Love’, acts as both a loving homage and a knowing parody of the Star Wars universe.

Although GLIL is often mistakenly identified as a student film, director Joe Nussbaum and those associated with the 8 minute production were a few years out of The University of Southern California when they produced the impressive short. Released via the internet in October 1999, GLIL sketches over a young George Lucas’ days at USC in 1967, as he struggles to find inspiration for the script he is writing. Young Lucas encounters many characters that will be instantly recogniseable to anyone even vaguely familiar with Star Wars, as he tries to move beyond his initial premise, of a space farmer stuck with a bad crop of ‘space wheat’.

Beautifully shot and considerably well acted, GLIL is both genuinely humours and expertly crafted. Received well by critics, fans and Lucas himself (who responded personally and positively to the filmmakers after he was sent a copy), this short is an excellent and entertaining watch for even those uninterested in Lucas and Star Wars.

View George Lucas In Love

Related Links:

An interview with the creators

EVENTS AND PLACES: Melbourne’s best rental stores

1 Sep

As any film student that’s ‘accidentally missed’ a cinema screening or finds themselves inadvertently time-poor when penning a film assignment knows, for many art house and cinema studies films, the local Blockbuster simply won’t cut it. Or, alternatively, for those that are sick of being forced to choose between the latest blow-things-up epic, opposites-attract romcom or yet another Ron Howard-directed paint-by-numbers pap piece, here is a guide to the some of the best art house and alternative cinema rental stores in Melbourne.

If anybody has any other submissions please let me know!

The Movie Reel

Address: 69 – 71 High St, Northcote

Website: The Movie Reel

Containing a wide variety of art house, foreign, cult and other hard to find films, the Movie Reel also offers an impressive range of TV series. The sprawl of film paraphernalia that decorates the walls and benches confirms that this is a store for films lovers, and the use of directors to divide the films on offer into sections is a novel (and helpful) touch.

Small Screen

Address: 420 Rathdowne St, Carlton

Website: Official Small Screen Facebook Page

Don’t be deceived by Small Screen’s small size; a ’boutique’ collection of over 3000 DVDs can be found inside this Carlton store. Specialising in foreign cinema and TV series, Small Screen offers DVDs (and more recently Blu-Ray discs) for both rent and sale.

Video Dogs

Address: 178 Farraday St, Carlton

Website: Video Dogs

Video Dogs promises customers 365-days-a-year access to not only the newest releases (which are somewhat snobbishly dubbed as generally mediocre) but a large collection of the greatest films ever made. The most impressive feature of Video Dogs is their comprehensive website, which offers both a full list of all films (and TV series) available instore, and an option to rent via a post-out service.

Picture Search Video

Address: 139 Swan St, Richmond

Phone: 03 94295639

Although Picture Search Video’s initial join up fee seems somewhat pricey in comparison to many other rental stores, this Richmond store offer thousands of hard-to-find films. If you can’t find it on DVD, chances are that there will be a VHS (remember those) copy ready for rental.

JUST FOR FUN: ‘La Puppe’

12 Aug

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In 1962, French film-maker Chris Marker released the ground breaking 28-minute short La Jetee, a beautifully presented story told almost entirely through the use of still photo imagery and voice over narration. Set in post-apocalpytic France, a sinister ruling council experiment with time travel in an attempt to avert the Nuclear war that has forced humanity underground.

If you haven’t yet encountered this short within a film studies course I highly recommend you seek it out immediately and not just for its sheer brilliance; rather, if you have seen La Jetee you can then turn your attention to La Puppe, a loving 10-minute homage made by film student Timothy Green in 2003. Despite being told through the eyes of a stuffed toy dog, it is easy to look beyond the novelty factor and appreciate the humour  of the film. While perhaps not as philosophically ponderous as the original, it is nevertheless a clever re-imagining of the original story, and well worth watching. 

Find it here: La Puppe