Monday, October 19, 2009
My Top Ten Movies of All Time
Star Wars (1977)
Directed by: George Lucas
Starring: Mark Hamil, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Alec Guinness, James Earl Jones (voice).
Oscars (winners in bold): 11 Nominations (7 wins) - Best Supporting Actor, Best Art Direction, Best Costume Design, Best Director, Best Editing, Best Music, Best Picture, Best Sound, Best Visual Effects, Best Original Screenplay, Special Achievement Award
Ranking on AFI's 100 Greatest Movie List (2007): 13
Review: So for anyone who knows me two things jump out about this. Of course it's on the list and it makes sense that it's this how (that is one), but why isn't it #1? Well for the answer to that you will have to tune in to see what #1 is. Now, on to the review.
This movie captured something that will never quite be captured again. An achievement that will never be duplicated and one that will constantly remain as one of the greatest film achievements/events ever.
I have said this before, and it is possible for more than one movie to qualify, but this movie changed my life to the point where it would never be the same. This film has seeped into my being at such a level that I have no clue, idea, or memory what life was like without having seen Star Wars. This movie was able to capture my imagination to a greater extent than any other movie ever, and provided a sense of escapism that would no movie could duplicate and would come in handy many times in my life.
The movie centers around a young man (Luke Skywalker) that meets an old man (Obi-Wan Kenobi) and learns of a past he never knew. This past and a series of unfortunate events leads him to join Kenobi (played expertly by Alec Guinnes) as he tries to help the Rebellion in their fight against the evil empire. The movie follows the young man's journey to discover what happened to his father, help the rebellion, and discover himself in the process.
Star Wars has often been brought up in conversations about allegorical movies. It is a known fact Lucas had help from renowned Greek Mythologist Joseph Campbell when writing his story. It is this background that gave root to this story of the fight between good and evil and the duality of that fight being between a father and son. Both sides use the mythical "Force" to aid them and their abilities. The Force is ultimately an allegory for religion if you look at a little deeper, but dig even deeper than that and you will find that the "Force" is more about looking inward and finding the power to do whatever you need within yourself. Everyone who uses the Force is born with the ability to do so. It resides inside them waiting for them to take advantage of it and use it help them accomplish their goals.
This is a very powerful message and it permeates this film to a great extent. Lucas was able to give us a world that was in despair, but showed us that if we all band together and look inside ourselves good can ultimately conquer evil. A simple message to be sure, but one that is not truly heard that often. This movie was able to make people hear it, on the surface it just seems like your normal sci-fi space opera, but looking a little deeper makes you hear this message and when it's all said and done that is why this movie captivated audiences and will continue to for generations.
Why this made the list:
As aforementioned, I cannot recall my life before having known this movie. This movie has impacted my life more than any other has or will again. Like I said, this movie provided escapism of the highest form and it did not go unnoticed by this fan.
Plus Lucas did the ultimate in marketing. Episode IV???? There will be more? There were some before? He opened up a world of possibilities to explore and keep one wrapped up in for as long as they choose.
This is all not even mentioning how much this film revolutionized Hollywood. Perfecting the "blockbuster," breaking new ground in special effects and storytelling and covering new territory with using music in films. You could not ask for more from a movie really. I don't know what else to say besides that this movie will alway, ALWAYS, have a special place in my heart. And that is why it is on this list.