Mythmaker: The Life and Work of George Lucas

Mythmaker: The Life and Work of George Lucas

by John Baxter
     
 

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George Lucas is one of the most innovative and commercially successful players on the movie scene today. Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi, together with the three "Indiana Jones" films-all six of which he conceived, produced, and co-wrote-comprise the most popular group of films ever made. Lucas masterminded a revolutionary shift in the

Overview

George Lucas is one of the most innovative and commercially successful players on the movie scene today. Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi, together with the three "Indiana Jones" films-all six of which he conceived, produced, and co-wrote-comprise the most popular group of films ever made. Lucas masterminded a revolutionary shift in the control of funding and profits of Hollywood films away from the studios into the hands of the filmmakers themselves. His state-of-the-art film exhibition techniques (such as THX sound systems) have transformed the cinematic experience, and his Industrial Light & Magic is the finest special effects studio in the world. Yet he has remained an enigma and a recluse-until now.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
An astute look behind the myths of the man and his work, this intelligent biography delivers a mixed verdict on director/ producer George Lucas's films: "Thanks to him... American popular culture had been immeasurably enriched in technique, widened in scope, but cheapened in content," writes Baxter, a biographer of Fellini, Spielberg, Kubrick and Woody Allen. "In his hands, cinema became synonymous in sensibility and style with the comic book, the hamburger, the soda." Yet Lucas fans won't mind, and may not even notice, Baxter's quietly devastating criticism as they feast on his detailed behind-the-scenes account of the making and marketing of American Graffiti, Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Willow and assorted sequels. Baxter presents the merchandising billionaire (who once observed that Star Wars "was designed around toys") as a socially inept director who finds the Hollywood filmmaking process boring and irritating. At the same time, Lucas has merely dabbled in what he claimed was his lifelong ambition of making inexpensive, personal, even experimental films as an alternative to the Hollywood system. In addition to offering an intense scrutiny of Lucas's creative process, this perceptive bio is peppered with gossipy glimpses into Lucas's rivalry with Spielberg and affair with Linda Ronstadt, details of Carrie Fisher's drug use, Francis Ford Coppola's hectic sex life and the battle waged by a new breed of directors to gain the upper hand over studios and investors in financially controlling their own films. (Oct.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780380978335
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
10/05/1999
Pages:
496
Product dimensions:
6.46(w) x 9.55(h) x 6.46(d)

Meet the Author

John Baxter is an acclaimed film critic and biographer. His subjects have included Woody Allen, Steven Spielberg, Stanley Kubrick, and Robert De Niro. The co-director of the Paris Writers' Workshop, he is the translator of Harper Perennial's Naughty French Novels series, and is the author of Immoveable Feast: A Paris Christmas, We'll Always Have Paris, and A Pound of Paper: Confessions of a Book Addict. He lives in Paris.

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