Watch George's Lucas's 1967 student short-film "Electronic Labyrinth: THX 1138 4EB"


#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2017/12/11/watch-georges-lucass-1967.html


#2

I heard he resubmitted it for extra credit 20 years later and failed the class retroactively.

special-edition


#3

You mean back when Lucas had actual ambition?


#4

I kinda want to see the feature film now. Anyone here seen it recently? Worth revisiting or should I give it a pass?


#5

I think it’s Lucas’ best film. If you can, watch the non-special edition, the one without his modern day additions. You may have to watch it in pan n’ scan, but I don’t think that hurts it too much. It sort of adds a not inappropriate element of claustrophobia to it.


#6

Ughhh, student work! Am I right?!


#7

It’s been about a year since I last watched it (I have the Blu-ray) but I think it definitely holds up.

It’s a slow burn and often understated but the themes around surveillance, consumerism, police violence, and fascism feel very prescient.

I also love the retro futuristic tech used throughout (I credit this film for my love of nixie tubes).


#8

I AM SO DAMN GLAD this got posted! I absolutely love THX-1138, and have always wanted to see this pre-version. OMG So good!!! Fantastic! I wish he would go back to this kind of shit, it miiiight make up for the prequels, even…


#9

Am I blind or do I need the video here?


#10

Same here. THX-1138 is one of my favorites. I’ve only read about this student film. Now I’ve finally gotten to see it.


#11

THX-1138 is definitely my favourite George Lucas film. I thought the remastered version was done well, except for at the end, where Lucas just couldn’t keep from adding some very unnecessary CGI creatures.

the student film is included on the 2xDVD from 2004.


#12

It has been a long time since I saw it. I did like it. It is a more Orwellian feel. It is also much slower pacing than now, but it was probably on par for the era.

Personally I thought it was a decent Sci Fi film and if one is a sci fi buff, they should see it just like they should see the original Blade Runner (even though its slow and boring compared to today.)


#13

Heathen! (Or am I the only one that still loves the original Bladerunner?)


#14

Many people love it, myself included. And I enjoy the pace — hypnotic and meditative.


#15

I quite like the first Bladerunner, I have seen some good dissections of the movie and critiques of where the movie falls short, and i agree that the movie could’ve been more compelling but still for what it is i still highly enjoy it. If anything i love it for the world it builds more than the main thread of the plot itself.


#16

Re Lucas. Just had a short discussion about him in a Facebook group.

I think two things: one he was a victim of his own success. He found lightning in a bottle early, and thanks to an amazing team, created several films that will stand the test of time. But most everything he has done since then that was not Star Wars was met with “meh” for the most part. I think Willow was the most successful and that had mixed results. Indiana Jones was successful, but I think Spielberg was the reason for that. Indeed, the Crystal Skulls showed how far off the rails shit gets when Lucas gets his creative juices flowing.

Two I don’t think he is the creative genius some people, including myself, labeled him to be. He is an OK director, but unlike Spielberg who is willing to seek out other people’s work and make them into good movies, he seems like the ideas need to come from him. But he is cursed because even really good directors and creators often times can’t repeat their Magnum Opus. He is forever compared to Star Wars and even a modest success will be a failure. Given he has more money than god, he has no reason to put himself out there and tarnish his image.

That said, I am curious. What if he made some short films or direct to Netflix type stuff under a pseudonym? Remove some of the pressure. I think THX-1138 showed he did have some interesting ideas, maybe he could explore them more. Even something like just an episode of Black Mirror or the new Twighlight Zone.


#17

OH to be clear, that isn’t MY criticism, that is the criticism other people have made. Both in the past and in the present. To be fair, there are some slow spots. But rewatching it, one thing I did like were the “quiet moments”. Films don’t seem to have quiet moments where the characters just are. How they act when no one is watching them. Perhaps Blade Runner had TOO many of them, but like I said, overall I really liked it.


#18

Lucas’ early films (THX, American Graffiti) were quite slow-paced meandering films which are great to sit back and get lost in. I really think that that is his true style. The prequels seem to have that same sort of meandering quality though much, much less effective. Star Wars, the finished product, was quite a departure from that - to it’s success, but I’m not entirely sure if Lucas had much to do with that change in style. His story pacing is much different than a ‘blockbuster’ pacing though he is given much of that credit.

Nice film essay on the original rough-cut of Star Wars and it seemed to have the same pacing problem that the prequels have.


#19

I really do love the weird idea’s people in the 60’s had about computers and machine interfaces.

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#20

THX-1138 was just on free-to air TV (well actually free-to-stream) with our SBS, I saw it for the first time last month. As others say a slow burn but a great movie.