Monday, April 19, 2010

"A Creative Force" Part I

So what turns an already imaginative and creative kid into one who doesn't feel fulfilled until he or she creates something themselves?

I think every artist can point back to some awe-inspiring event they witnessed during their formative years that set them on a life-long track to either approximate or eclipse what they saw on that occasion. Well, in 1977, my seven year old "fragile eggshell mind" was completely blown away by this:

Er, well, maybe to a certain extent. But what I really mean was this...

In May or June of 1977 my best friend David's ("His name is my name, too!") older brother Michael physically dragged us to this modest little picture called "Star Wars". It was a bit of a chore to rip us away from our busy schedule of interpreting Monopoly's rules incorrectly ("Of course you win money on 'Free Parking', stoopid!") , playing Mattel Electronic Hand-Held Baseball, making a play-fort out of David's bunk beds, listening to "Stars on 45" records and drowning our G.I. Joe's in the bathtub. Cripes, it would have been nigh-impossible just to divorce us from our bikes for two hours alone. But Michael was adamant about the movie's quality and we eventually relented.

We ventured down to the Vogue Theatre in downtown Sydney and managed to get a seat amidst a sea of hyperactive maniacs. I remember being skeptical that I was even going to be able to hear anything over the collective din.

But when the first blare of the John Williams-orchestrated London Symphony Orchestra soundtrack blasted us all to the back wall of the theatre my concerns proved to be moot. From there on in, you could have heard a Goober drop if not for the glorious 70mm Dolby sound. The title crawl began and we all sat transfixed, trying to digest the words. "Civil War?" "Spaceships?" "Hidden base?" "Evil Galactic Empire?" "Spies?" "DEATH STAR?!!!?" What the f#@% didn't this movie have?

If the brief reading tutorial set up any unrealistic claims it was quickly blown away by the very first scene as a small Rebel spaceship is pursued by a massive Imperial Star Destroyer, all amidst an orgy of flashing laser beams and explosions . It sounds like parody now, but in that theatre back in 1977 I would have sworn that Imperial ship went overhead for a good fifteen to twenty minutes before we saw the tail end of it.

The Empire's subsequent assault on the Rebel Blockade Runner (the name of which by the way is the "Tantive IV", for all of those among you who actually have lives) really sealed the deal. When that door exploded and those white armored Stormtroopers bombed in firing blasters and killing dudes wholesale my prepubescent brain exploded and leaked out of my right ear.

And as if that wasn't enough, the friggin' Dark Lord of the Sith shows up in the most pimp entrance before or since in cinema history. Darth Vader didn't scare me at all. I just thought he was the coolest, illest mother-f#@%*^ in the entire galaxy.

All the while I'm watching this I'm thinking:

"How did this movie go into my brain and 'ice-cream-scoop' out all the imagination and then put it up on this screen?"

A fair question and one that I will endeavor to explore.

In Part II of my own Galactic Saga I explore the immediate and life-long impact that this humble little blockbuster had on me from that moment forth.

In the meantime, here's today's "Forceful" EPIC/FAIL's:

EPIC  Hey, at least half of them are epic...



Brodie said...

The Epic FAIL from this post gave me dreams that might be considered nightmares. I enjoyed Phantom Menace, but his points were absolutely correct. My brain is ripped in seven.

Flava Dave said...

Yeah, I was a "Menace" apologist for about six months before the awful truth sunk in. Plinkett don't play, yo. His "Episode II" review is even more spot-on!