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A long time ago...
May 19, 2010 7:02 PM   Subscribe

The Empire Strikes Back (1950) posted by kmz (31 comments total) 35 users marked this as a favorite

 
These are great.

Is it more the cultural upheavals of the 1960s and 1970s, or the outsize influence of Star Wars itself, that makes Empire read as essentially "modern" to me, despite being thirty years old, while stuff from twice that long ago seems as though it belongs to another age altogether?
posted by killdevil at 7:19 PM on May 19, 2010 [2 favorites]


Of course, there's also the fact that Star Wars was the first movie I ever saw, when I was six months old. Apparently I fell asleep halfway through.
posted by killdevil at 7:22 PM on May 19, 2010


That was cool.
posted by nola at 7:24 PM on May 19, 2010


Nifty! Luke "Starkiller" was a nice touch.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 7:45 PM on May 19, 2010 [3 favorites]


Plan 9? Ah, yes. Plan 9 deals with the building of an enormous space station the size of a moon.
posted by ignignokt at 7:48 PM on May 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


I was looking forward to a bit of Errol Flynn-style lightsaber fighting. Nuts.
posted by furiousthought at 7:50 PM on May 19, 2010


<obligatory>One thing's for darn sure: You can bet Greedo shoots first in the 1950's premake of A New Hope</obligatory>
posted by usonian at 8:04 PM on May 19, 2010


Premakes previously.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 8:17 PM on May 19, 2010


So That's How They Filmed the Star Wars Opening Crawl...
posted by homunculus at 8:55 PM on May 19, 2010 [2 favorites]


This is fantastic, loved it!

Is it more the cultural upheavals of the 1960s and 1970s, or the outsize influence of Star Wars itself, that makes Empire read as essentially "modern" to me, despite being thirty years old, while stuff from twice that long ago seems as though it belongs to another age altogether?

I expect that it's much more that you are also 30 years old. At least for me, everything that happened before I was born feels equally far away, because it all happened before my existence. (a bit solipsistic perhaps, but that's how our brains are.)
posted by LooseFilter at 9:14 PM on May 19, 2010 [3 favorites]


Brock Peters from the radio adaptation = WIN WIN WIN
posted by The Tensor at 9:29 PM on May 19, 2010


@killdevil: there’s an argument to be made that the film’s design is strongly modernist, which probably contributes.
posted by stilist at 9:40 PM on May 19, 2010


Personally, I prefer the Boogie Nights / Star Wars mashup trailer. killdevil, it may actually help put the era thing into perspective.
posted by eschatfische at 9:45 PM on May 19, 2010 [3 favorites]


Some people can't accept that being able to precisely channel these influences makes you a genius.
posted by Ironmouth at 10:00 PM on May 19, 2010


Seriously, people have to understand that its not Foucault, but George Lucas who signals the birth of the postmodern.

The crawl from Star Wars:
It is a period of civil war.
Rebel spaceships, striking
from a hidden base, have won
their first victory against
the evil Galactic Empire.


During the battle, Rebel
spies managed to steal secret
plans to the Empire's
ultimate weapon, the DEATH
STAR, an armored space
station with enough power
to destroy an entire planet.


Pursued by the Empire's
sinister agents, Princess
Leia races home aboard her
starship, custodian of the
stolen plans that can save her
people and restore
freedom to the galaxy....

That's right. The first real use of ALL CAPS. The rest is history.
posted by Ironmouth at 10:11 PM on May 19, 2010


Killdevil - it's a bit of both. Despite being a tribute and a pastiche of old adventure movies, Star Wars was a landmark in how movies worked in terms of editing, pacing, and soundtracks. But there were plenty of other movies [and non-movie historical events] in the 60s and 70s that influenced they way character development happened in movies, as well as pushing out the way people in movies could act. As well as how they could act.
posted by Jon_Evil at 10:16 PM on May 19, 2010 [2 favorites]


I laughed at the Saturday Morning Watchmen intro.

"Night Owl is the leader, and he loves to party down..." Nice.
posted by mysterpigg at 10:16 PM on May 19, 2010 [2 favorites]


This is awesome. Truly the best of the web. Thank you.
posted by Conrad Cornelius o'Donald o'Dell at 10:23 PM on May 19, 2010


Did 50's trailer really look this bad? I understand it's supposed to have been through grindhouses, but would the image have come in and out of focus like that?
posted by Monday, stony Monday at 10:53 PM on May 19, 2010


Shouldn't Ming the Merciless have been in there somewhere? It also lacked rockets made of aluminum foil tented around a pencil and "flown" by threads.
posted by Cranberry at 10:55 PM on May 19, 2010


At least this trailer has less Chewbacca than TESB, so it has something going for it.
posted by ersatz at 3:16 AM on May 20, 2010


It's actually not surprising how well this works sometimes, when you consider that Star Wars and Raiders of the Lost Ark were both homages to/inspired by old serials. Which is not to say these aren't fun.

I still like the trailer for the original (to me, at least) long-lost Hollywood version of Lord of the Rings that someone made a few years back. It was also fun to spot which movies were used. Not sure if that's still out there, and I don't have time to look right now.
posted by pmurray63 at 4:06 AM on May 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


Actually, it was more than a trailer -- it was the whole story in about 8-10 minutes, now that I think about it.
posted by pmurray63 at 4:08 AM on May 20, 2010


Did 50's trailer really look this bad?

Not really. Here are trailers for Singin' in the Rain, Twelve Angry Men, Vertigo, and Some Like It Hot.
posted by kirkaracha at 6:08 AM on May 20, 2010


My favorite film. A retro style.

*love*
posted by grubi at 6:38 AM on May 20, 2010


So.... when can I see this on the bigscreen? (I would, you know. And I haven't been to a movie in a few years.)
posted by Doohickie at 6:45 AM on May 20, 2010


Maybe I watch way too much TCM, but to me, those trailers look wonderful, vibrant, and eccentrically alive -- whereas current-day trailers look like crap: flat, busy, stale, and despite all the money and focus-grouping that goes into producing them, boring as hell.
posted by blucevalo at 6:50 AM on May 20, 2010


That first trailer was better than Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow (2004) -- seriously.

It had scope, depth and synechdoche that the 2004 movie entirely lacked.

I'd pay $$ to see a feature-length premake of SW, complete with lo-fi sfx -- no green screen, no CGI, no 3D, but not cheap-ass '70s Doctor Who stuff -- just black and white, maybe some CGI to make the source-material composit properly, but no overhead to pay for expensive new effects or wireforms.
posted by vhsiv at 6:53 AM on May 20, 2010


I'd pay $$ to see a feature-length premake of SW, complete with lo-fi sfx -- no green screen, no CGI, no 3D...

Save the black-and-white, isn't that essentially what the original SW was?
posted by JohnFredra at 7:09 AM on May 20, 2010


Adventure - bah! Excitement - bah! A Jedi craves not these things.
posted by atbash at 7:50 AM on May 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


> Save the black-and-white, isn't that essentially what the original SW was?
> posted by JohnFredra

The original was an homage to '40's serials like the aforementioned Buck Rogers, Flash Gordon and the rest of those Cold War/Atom Age serials.

If you go with color on a premake or make-similar, people are going to expect state-of-the-art, and that's not what the thing should be about. Rightly, the premake would be a 'curatorial' comment about the genre rather than add to the pile of compost of bad space opera*. In this case, B&W would denote high art.

*(cf. Andromeda and everything else executive produced by Majel Roddenberry after Gene's death)
.

The funny-odd is that Marvel and DC seem to be on a Golden Age redux at the moment, with pre-deconstructivist efforts like Dc's Brightest Day and Marvel's new Heroic Age frooftah.

Me, I'm still a fan of Marvel's courage to kill Gwen Stacy back in 1973. Why the fuck they'd try to walk back from that sort of thing and invalidate the 26-odd years that Peter was married to MJ is anyone's guess -- Quesada is aiming for an innocence that never existed.
posted by vhsiv at 8:26 AM on May 20, 2010


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