When watched together, in sequence, Film professor Aidan Wasley says, the Star Wars 6-ilogy is actually revealed to be the world’s greatest art film, ever:
Star Wars, at its secret, spiky intellectual heart, has more in common with films like Peter Greenaway’s Prospero’s Books or even Matthew Barney’s The Cremaster Cycle than with the countless cartoon blockbusters it spawned. Greenaway and Barney take the construction of their own work as a principal artistic subject, and Lucas does, too.
Wasley goes on to talk about Lucas’s interest in both the “never in a
bajillion years long, long time” narrative coincidences which make up the films; and the deterministic, aesthetic order that is required for the thousands of CGI scenes.
So you mean the stilted storytelling and embarassing acting is good because Lucas intended it that way? I think that by defining “art films” as the uncompromised vision of a single individual–who we’ll call an artist–then yes, Cremaster and Star Wars are both art films. But don’t expect critical or audience opinion to be swayed by someone re-ascribing a whole host of a film’s shortcomings as the artist’s intention.
There’s as much risk of turning out a dud from this kind of mythic, singular, lone artist process as there is from the much more maligned studio-meddling/compromising hack process. Think Gangs of New York, Baseketball and Team America World Police.
Star Wars: Episodes I-VI, The greatest postmodern art film ever. [slate via kottke]
Previously: On watching Cremaster 1-5 in order