Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Quick DVD Review: THX 1138 - Director's Cut

Picked up the director's version of THX 1138 over the weekend. It had been a while since I've seen it, and back then it was censored. (This was obviously pre-DirecTV.)

THX 1138 was the professional directorial debut of a young man by the name of George Lucas, along with another "young Turk" by the name of Francis Ford Coppola, who served as the producer. Lucas was also the writer and film editor.

Now if you've never seen the movie before, be forewarned... this is not a light movie! It is very cerebral, and you will be as lost and confused as many of the characters were if you're not careful.

THX 1138 was originally billed as "a love story live from the 21st Century". The 21st Century was a long ways away when this movie came out in 1972. And there is love in this movie. Well that and a few other things which couldn't be seen on broadcast TV.

This is not a "Brave New World", but rather more like "1984" done in white. Everyone is monitored. Emotions are dulled away by pills. And you MUST take these drugs, or else you're charged with a crime. Even education is administered through drugs. Religion is reduced to prayers to OHM, which responds with a programmed script. Consumption is required, even if you don't need to "consume". Production and consumption are the only purposes in life. Robotic officers patrol the area talking like therapists, and they will take you away to be "re-educated" if you're not behaving yourself. Trials are reduced to rushed arguments by advocates followed by a computer-generated verdict.

Scary, isn't it? And yet how much of that world do we see in our reality?

Now this is the "director's cut" of the movie, which means that George Lucas added a couple of things to it. One of them happens to deal with stimulation through artificial means. I won't say what the other two are, but when you see them, you'll know what they are.

The rest of the DVD involves a couple of documentaries, and other two versions of the movie (movie-only and sound effects-only) which you may want to check out if you want to impress a bunch of liberals.

And now I have a little exercise for you: there are a couple of hints to the director's NEXT science fiction movie hidden in this one... and the title is one of them. Can you find them? (Oh, and in case you don't know what I'm talking about, the next Sci-Fi movie Lucas did was this little movie called "Star Wars".)

All in all, like I said, this is a cerebral movie. If you like these omnipresent dictatorial stories like "Brave New World" or "1984", then get this DVD. If you're opposed to the USA PATRIOT Act, then get this DVD. If you're a freedom-loving individual, then get this DVD. On the other hand, if you just want to be mildly numbed by lighthearted comedy, then skip this DVD, pop your daily pills, and don't mind the robots when they come to pick up your computer-assigned roommate for deviant behavior.

Or as OHM would tell you... Buy more. Buy more now.

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