Posts Tagged ‘blog: things you should check out’.

The Theory that Claims the Star Wars Prequels Are Too Sophisticated for Us to Fully Understand

here is an IMAGE of some TEXT

In his extremely long and detailed essay “Star Wars Ring Theory”, Mike Klimo argues for a reexamination of the Star Wars prequel movies.

They are, he claims, not semi-competent jangles of garish noise and wooden acting, but in fact, incredibly sophisticated examples of modern mythmaking, and work with the original Star Wars movies to create an interwoven narrative web more complex than has ever been achieved in the history of cinema.

ben is gone.....QUI-GON

If you like Star Wars and wild theories, this is a great read. I don’t have much love for the prequel movies myself, but after reading Klimo’s essay, I can absolutely look at them with a deeper appreciation, recognizing that a very precise craftsmanship has gone into making them exactly…whatever they are.

Klimo claims in the essay that George Lucas, using “ring theory” (a storytelling concept that involves recurring motifs and patterns), has created in the six Star Wars movies a tightly woven narrative in which no detail is insignificant.

jar jar reaches puberty and returns as chewbacca

He supports this with examples of mirrored compositions, plot structures, story beats, and lines of dialogue from the various movies (I’ve used some of his juxtaposed images in this post). And seeing the evidence in living color, it’s hard to deny: a lot of thought went into making elements of the prequels reprise (foreshadow?) moments from the original trilogy.

I have some thoughts about the conclusions he reaches, though. I’ll let you go and read the essay, and then come back when you’re done, maybe next week sometime, and read the rest of this post.

tear this ship apart until you find my dignity

Back? Okay. As I mentioned above, it’s clear that absolutely, unequivocally, there are moments and shots and entire sequences in the prequels that are designed to evoke counterpart moments and shots and sequences from the original trilogy.

Klimo’s argument is that this proves that all six movies are interlocking parts of a supremely orchestrated master saga…Which might make sense if the original ones weren’t made decades before the prequels, and if Lucas had himself directed all of the original movies.

What makes more sense to me is that, faced with the prospect of making prequel movies, and not wanting to screw it up, Lucas looked back at the original trilogy, and mined it.

In improv theater we have a technique: to make a mistake not look like a mistake, you simply repeat it. Then, it looks like it was a deliberate move all along.

By making movies that were, as close as he could manage, repetitions of motifs from the original movies, Lucas created the intricate interrelated structure that Klimo is so taken with — by filling in the missing pieces after the fact.

It’s kind of like a Rorchach test: it’s just a blob of ink, until you fold the paper in half. Once you mirror the pattern and start repeating things, every detail starts to look meaningful.

Some of the comments on the Ring Theory website point out a similar point: that no matter how intricate a structure the prequels can be shown to have, they’re still, to coin a phrase, semi-competent jangles of garish noise and wooden acting.

The response to this, in that comment thread at least, is that the prequels are meant to read as myths — “You don’t criticize the dialogue in the Bible, do you?” is a paraphrase of one comment.

To which I say: FAIR ENOUGH. Klimo claims to be at work on a follow-up article exploring this point in more depth.

ringtheory3

But! I will also say this. I followed a link from Klimo’s article’s bibliography to an obscure journal of philosophy, which also features (besides the article that Klimo references) an article entitled “Nazi Germany: The Forces of Taurus, Scorpio and Capricorn”.

This article is exactly as impassioned and elaborate and detail-filled in the service of arguing the astrological links between the key figures and events of the Third Reich as Klimo’s article praising Lucas as the most sophisticated storyteller in the cinema history.

i'm sure it all makes perfect sense to someone

It’s like Chancellor Palpatine said: “It’s not what you know, it’s what you can prove.”

[ Star Wars Ring Theory ]

Check out: Crawdads Welcome

crawdads

I came across this comic series when someone mistook it for Wondermark. It’s so lovely! And hand-drawn, which Wondermark isn’t really…I mean, someone drew it, but not me. Wondermark is A COLLABORATION WITH THE DEAD

The above is just a single panel, check out the whole series on Tumblr: Crawdads Welcome, a comic strip about animals by Ezra Butt.

Check out: Live New Yorker Cartoons

Dramatizing cartoons is hard. The cadence can be hard to nail — and sometimes it doesn’t work at all.

Voice actor SungWon Cho has done the best job I’ve heard yet (and he’s back, this week, with another delightfully narrated Wondermark comic)!

But the field is still ripe for challengers.

Enter Late Night’s Seth Meyers. Accompanied by New Yorker editor David Remnick, Seth and his troupe of hardy players have taken on the challenge of performing, in live action, single-panel New Yorker cartoons.

It’s pretty great. There are two entries in the series (so far)!

Check Out: Documentary about the mysterious video game POLYBIUS

My film-school friends Todd Luoto and Jon Frechette have been working for a few years now on a documentary about the mysterious urban legend video game POLYBIUS.

From Wikipedia:

Polybius is an arcade cabinet described in an urban legend, which is said to have induced various psychological effects on players. The story describes players suffering from amnesia, night terrors, and a tendency to stop playing all video games. Around a month after its supposed release in 1981, Polybius is said to have disappeared without a trace. There is no evidence that such a game has ever existed…

The trailer Todd and Jon have up on Kickstarter right now is pretty sweet. (The cinematographer is our friend Elisha Christian, who also shot the Monocles commercial.) They’re fundraising to shoot more interviews and do all the post-production required to finish the film.

They’ve got 8 days left in the campaign, and to be honest, they’re pretty far from the finish line. But in an email, they told me:

Right now — even a $5 donation will help us a ton.

Truth is, there’s a good chance we won’t be able to pull this off (…which means you wouldn’t have to pay anything anyways). But on the flip side, we’ve been getting a ton of amazing press that just simply hasn’t translated into the donations we were hoping for. But we’re confident that with enough noise online (which, ironically enough, we’re actually getting), and some more backers displayed in our profile, we can at least take this to a financier and show them this is a project worth investing in.

Todd and Jon actually had a financier almost lined up, but when the deal didn’t go through, they turned to Kickstarter. If they can use Kickstarter press — funded or not — to help attract more industry interest, then the more backers they get, the better.

THE POLYBIUS CONSPIRACY on Kickstarter

Check out: Comics, Narrated

Voice actor SungWon Cho has a series on Tumblr of audio performances of comic strips! (The video above is him, too.)

I’ve seen comics narrated a few times and it’s always pretty fun. SungWon does it exceptionally well.

Of course I am partial to his reading of a Wondermark strip! NICELY DONE, SUNGWON.

But they are all great.

(Note: Tumblr’s audio player has known bugs with Chrome. Use a different browser if it doesn’t work.)

I also love seeing this sort of thing done in general: talented people having fun with their talent in a way that other people can share. That can do more for a career than fancy business cards, or expensive websites, or press releases extolling your own greatness. Heck I’m sharing his work right now!!