Tracker Pixel for Entry

​Far, far away and far, far out

by Greg Carlson | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | Cinema | June 7th, 2017

“Star Wars Nothing But Star Wars” celebrates 40 years of the franchise

The prodigiously gifted team of collectors, archivists, programmers, and aficionados of movie madness operating as Cinefamily celebrate the 40th anniversary of the release of George Lucas’ game-changing blockbuster with “Star Wars Nothing But Star Wars,” a wildly entertaining mixtape of gems, oddities, outtakes, clips, interviews, fan films, newscasts, commercials, public service announcements, and all sorts of other media devoted to one of the most durable franchises in motion picture history.

Made available online to coincide with a trio of public screenings at the Cinefamily headquarters in Los Angeles, the nearly 95-minute feature is an eye-popping, brain-melting phantasmagoria of the nooks and crannies of the Death Star’s attic and the Sandcrawler’s storage bins.

Loosely organized both chronologically and thematically, the mash-up concatenates the familiar and the obscure, reminding us of the unprecedented pop culture earthquake that shook the weeks, months, and years following May 25, 1977.

The most rabid fans will have seen (and in some cases, personally amassed) a great deal of the source material, from the “Star Wars Holiday Special” to the Underoos advertisement to the sour, curmudgeonly, and tone-deaf critique provided by noted hater John Simon.

But no matter how deep your knowledge and love, the rapid-fire montage parade unearths delights and surprises that, in the Cinefamily tradition, carom from the awkward and the embarrassing to the glorious and the sublime.

In one deeply satisfying and pleasurable section, the dangerous watering hole known to die-hards as Chalmun’s Cantina lives up to Ben Kenobi’s “wretched hive of scum and villainy” admonishment/warning regarding Mos Eisley spaceport.

Bea Arthur’s Ackmena, a Rainier Beer spot, a “Friends Don’t Let Friends Drive Drunk” PSA, and a sketch from “The Richard Pryor Show” (featuring the legendary comic’s colorful way with words) all make a case for the kegs of inspiration supplied by the most notorious tavern on Tatooine.

And while the Cinefamily assemblage sticks close to period content, a few prime selections of more recent vintage, such as the Sid Lee agency’s 2010 Adidas Originals World Cup promo featuring Daft Punk and Snoop Dogg, are worthy additions.

As an unauthorized work, “Star Wars Nothing But Star Wars” also takes perverse joy in drawing on the sleazy, seedy, and lurid adaptations of the mythology, which unsurprisingly go hand in velvet glove with the disco-era vibes of outwardly wholesome tributes like the spectacular episode of “Donny and Marie” in which the Osmond siblings (as Leia and Luke, presciently) interact with Kris Kristofferson as Han Solo, Redd Foxx as Obi-Wan, and Paul Lynde as Darth Vader.

The family-friendly atmosphere of innocence cultivated by Lucas on the big screen collapsed almost instantly, and Cinefamily has the pornography to prove it. “Star Babe,” the inaugural “sexual space fantasy” homage, kicked off a long line of lewd cash-grabs, but “Star Wars Nothing But Star Wars” adroitly includes “The Empire Strikes Back” outtakes in which the farmboy and the princess move in for a romantic (almost?) kiss long before a major act of retroactive continuity would cast them as siblings.

Alongside Luke and Leia’s scuttled ecstasy, the document uncorks a trove of completed and semi-completed scenes that never made it to the final prints. Devotees have previously studied the early looks at Luke interacting with Biggs (and Koo Stark’s dismissive Camie) and the awkward wampa attack inside the Rebel base on Hoth, but these cutting room artifacts are -- in their stilted, pace-killing roughness -- ideal corresponding partners to the incredible homemade tributes, like Itami Rose’s beautiful interpretation, that, in the wonderful galaxy of remix culture, would pave the way for marvels like the “Star Wars Uncut” project.  

Recently in:

Sophia Wilansky says she’s lucky she’s right handed. Since nearly losing her left arm from an exploding projectile on Backwater Bridge one year ago, cooking has become a tedious art. She can no longer be involved in circus…

Thanksgiving is around the corner and we give thanks for the blessing of the harvest. Everyone is getting ready for the Thanksgiving feast.After Thanksgiving, we can easily imagine the endless long lines in early morning for the…

Thursday, November 16, 7-9pmUnglued, 408 Broadway N, FargoProof Artisan Distillers and Unglued present a craft party with four distinct projects and help from artists Ashley from AENDEE and Nicole Rae, not to mention a special…

“The experience of all ages has proved that the people constantly give away their liberties.” - John Adams“Man’s dishonesty with himself is his greatest enemy. When he makes a mistake, his memory admits, ‘I have done…

The thoughts and prayers of politicians will finally be answeredWe have had 307 mass shootings (four kills or more) so far in 2017, including the last one in Sutherland Springs, Texas, where 26 mortals attending church, aged 18…

For the third week in a row, our panel of judges were out on the town with a thirst for cocktails and a focus on presentation, flavor, and creativity. This week’s adventures took us to a couple of hotspots in south Fargo, as the…

Colder weather, changing leaves, pumpkin spice and more are some of the few things that come to mind when many think of fall. But fall is about much more than sugary lattes and scarves, and you can fully indulge in fall flavors at…

I’m told that there is nothing quite like a live Green Jelly show, where anarchy and foam puppets reign. So perhaps it’s in the spirit of the upcoming show that my intended interview with the mastermind and vocalist behind the…

Putting to good use his affinity for period detail, filmmaker Todd Haynes tackles Brian Selznick’s 639-page “Wonderstruck,” with a screenplay adapted by the author. Weaving together a pair of New York stories that take place…

Would you like to escape your stressful daily life with a relaxing arts event? Do you like to meet with old friends and make new ones? Or maybe you would like to start your Christmas and Holiday shopping early. FMVA has the event…

Ted Larson introduced me to Chris Jacobs one evening at Weld Hall in the late 1980s. I was in high school then, but Chris recognized fellow film fanatics, and we would chat a little bit each week. I learned quickly that he loved…

Humor

​Talking to strangers

by Sabrina Hornung

“I don’t have a tour, like, on the back of a sweatshirt,” comedian Paula Poundstone says. “I go out every weekend. This weekend I went out Friday, Saturday and Monday. Mostly it’s Friday/Saturday or Thursday through…

Believe it or not, “The Holidays” are upon us. If you’ve been to Target lately, and I know you have, you may have noticed that the Christmahanakwanzika stuff is already up (if you’re unsure of that term, Google it).In fact,…

Essential oils. They are all the buzz lately. It seems everyone has heard of them or is purchasing them. Some people know how to use them; others are just interested in the wonder of their complex scents.Essential oils are as…

Live and Learn

​The other shoe

by HPR Contributor

By Elizabeth Nawrotnawrot@mnstate.eduI look up from my hotel lobby breakfast astonished to see a framed print of Wassily Kandinsky's "Mit und Gegen,” a masterpiece of color and composition that just happens to be my favorite…

By Anthony Paul [Editor’s note: This piece contains language that some readers may find offensive]It has been all over social media and the news lately, how our president and commander-in-chief called and spoke with one of these…