George Lucas: Hollywood ‘All Circus, No Substance’

George Lucas Reuters

In a wide-ranging interview with film critic Leonard Maltin at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, directors George Lucas and Robert Redford spoke candidly of their experiences in film, where Lucas came to the conclusion that Hollywood as a “circus.”

During the almost two-hour interview, both Redford and Lucas shared their thoughts on the modern film industry, as well as praise for one another. However, the pair agreed on one thing: Hollywood has taken film in an unfortunate direction.

“A lot of the movies you see today basically are circus movies.” Lucas said of the lack of meaningful narratives in today’s big premieres. “The movie industry today has turned into a bit of a circus.”

He continued: “Its now gotten to be more circus without any substance behind it.”

“If you go into Star Wars and see what’s going on there, there’s a lot more substance than circus,” he argued, while slamming the spectacle he feels the film industry has become.

“In the process of making Star Wars, there were no visual-effects houses, so I had to make one,” Lucas said. “Everything I’ve ever done has been to make the process easier and to open up the imagination. Every job in ILM has been created for a particular shot or a particular movie.”

Lucas also informed the panel he didn’t understand why people watched Internet videos of “cats doing stupid things.”

For his part, Redford spoke highly of the benefits of working independently in film.

“If you’re going to work independently, you get to work outside the studio system which is very restrictive in its thinking, but it means you have to be very creative,” he said. “One of the virtues of independent film is that it forces you to be resourceful.”

The director was also asked about diversity in film, to which he replied, “Diversity is the name of the game.” Redford went on to say that young people were given a world that is “messed up,” and they would have to overcome big odds to change it through film.

“The future of the industry is in the hands of women and young people,” he stated. “Young people want to be given the reins… and I think women, because of their nurturing sensibilities, you put that together and that’s the way to go.”

Watch the entire interview below:


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