As we’re packing our bags here in Austin, getting ready for the next adventure, the report from SXSW is in, and it’s nothing short of amazing.
Our first screening at The Alamo South Lamar had a line so long that another screening was added at midnight to accommodate the spillover (a festival first, we were told)—both ended up completely full. Same story with our Tuesday screening at The Paramount—a 1,200 seater—packed on a weekday afternoon. Lines of badge-holders wrapped around the entire block on a chilly, rainy day. A sight to behold—reminiscent of a certain 1977 Summer release. The fourth and final screening took place at the slanted Hitachi G-Tech Theater on Thursday. Another packed house, plenty of applause during the film, and a really engaging Q&A to round it all up.
Let’s not forget the kick-ass premiere party at The Highball, hosted by the gracious and fabulous Tim League, and featuring DJ Fuckin’ A, Slave Leia dancers, and plenty of lasers.
Here in Austin, the fans, industry and media have embraced the film with tremendous enthusiasm and interest, and we couldn’t have hoped for a better reception. We’re now only days away from announcing further screenings at two top-tier international film festivals, and committed to two additional ones in June (details TBA).
After an interview with Entertainment Weekly, and a second front page appearance as Top Entertainment story on CNN.com, the early reviews are in. We’ll let them speak for themselves:
‘Best film about geek culture I’ve ever seen.’ (Chris Gore, G4)
‘A major crowd pleaser.’ (Eric Kohn, Moving Pictures Magazine) – FULL REVIEW HERE
‘The briskly paced movie does an admirable job of lashing together the best bits, which are combined with fascinating archival footage of the social phenomenon that Star Wars has become. […] That’s a lot of input to boil down into a coherent, feature-length movie, but Philippe and crew have pulled it off.’ (Wired.com) – FULL REVIEW HERE
‘There’s more to “People” than just fanboys and girls emoting over the highs and lows of their tangled relationship with Lucas. […] Philippe crafts an interesting meditation on art and marketing and film itself. Between the voluminous clips of fan art and his true cross-section of high- and low-brow commentators, “People” is a clever and stimulating look inside a subculture that has ramifications on far bigger subjects. The galaxy in this case is not so very far away.’ (Randee Dawn, Moving Pictures Magazine) – FULL REVIEW HERE
‘A consistently good-looking doc, with high production values and some inspired editing.’ (SciFi Squad)
‘There isn’t a single angle of this discussion neglected, and the film serves as a testament to fandom’s greatest debate, becoming a distillation of the finer points while never neglecting the underlying passion that the fans have for the material. Equal parts funny and informative, […] this is the definitive word on the debate and it is impossible to imagine that anyone will ever say it better.’ (Film.com) – FULL REVIEW HERE
‘A generation of fanboys has its say in “The People vs. George Lucas,” a doc whose obvious sympathy for one side of the battle doesn’t keep it from giving a fair shake to the mogul behind “Star Wars” or prevent it from making good-natured jokes about those who take the saga too seriously. […] Even a well-informed “Star Wars” enthusiast will likely make new discoveries here, and more casual fans will be stunned by the homemade remakes, imaginative off-shoots and eagle-eyed edits put together by ordinary people who may have a stronger feel for the Force than the man who dreamed it up.’ (The Hollywood Reporter) – FULL REVIEW HERE
‘The longer the film rolls, the more apparent it becomes that, despite all the judicial trappings, this isn’t a trial; it’s a communal therapy session. An odd, hilarious, bittersweet communal therapy session, so that maybe, just maybe, we can start to heal. […] The People vs. George Lucas doesn’t provide any definitive verdicts. It’s honest enough to admit that ultimately, George Lucas is just a guy, and maybe we never had any right to hold him up to the standards we set for him after 30 years of nostalgic devotion.’ (Cinemablend) – FULL REVIEW HERE
‘The People vs. George Lucas is an amazing piece of documentary film making. […] The interviewees range from film critics and musicians, to regular people and filmmakers. […] The commentary they provide on the passion they have for the original fare is powerful and inspiring and makes you proud to be a film geek of any ilk. Conversely, the articulating of black-bile hatred for the newer films and the re-releases is subversively hysterical.’ (Film School Rejects)
‘SXSW always has a strong lineup of documentaries, and The People vs. George Lucas is one of this year’s best. Smart, funny, and often impassioned, it’s entertaining even when it’s just exploring the filmmaker’s relationship with his rebellious army of fans. But what really hooked me were its insights into why this battle matters to the noncombatants.’ (Slant Magazine) – FULL REVIEW HERE
‘As a film by and for the fans, there’s no denying that The People vs George Lucas is worthy of its place in the pantheon of George Lucas’s classic series.’ (GotchaMovies.com) – FULL REVIEW HERE
Finally, a few relevant clips/audio files for your enjoyment: