Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Impressive, Most Impressive

THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK is the best of the STAR WARS movies. It also made the least amount of money, but that matters not.

The director of EMPIRE, Irvin Kershner, died this week at the age of eighty-seven. He had lung cancer.I went to a convention earlier this year where Kersh was supposed to appear. But he was too ill, and had been hospitalized, in fact, but recorded a greeting for the audience. It seemed pretty apparent he wouldn't be around much longer.

But EMPIRE will be.

You know, George Lucas made it clear, early on in his career, that he neither enjoyed writing nor directing movies, that his joy was in the editing room. So it makes no sense he would've deviated from that for them gorram Prequels. THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK is the film he had the least amount of influence and impact on (not to say that Lucas shouldn't get credit for the film in the end), and who knows how much of the greatness of that movie should be laid on Kershner's doorstep?

Or Kasdan's? Or Kurtz's?

There's no knowing, but as the man has passed away, let's take this opportunity to thank him for TESB, and how much of an impact it made on our childhoods.

I met Irvin Kershner once, a few years ago, and listened to him speak about the making of the film. There were so many questions and so much he could've talked about that the hour allotted wasn't nearly enough.

After the screening, he had a little autograph session in the lobby. I took this picture when he signed my EMPIRE poster, and was immediately censored by the theater staff. Apparently, it was okay to talk to the man, ask for him to sign something, but not to take his picture. Hmmm.At that convention this year, Kersh expressed his disappointment at not being able to make it out to talk and sign autographs. He offered to sign anything anybody sent him if they didn't mind paying the postage. That struck me as pretty generous, or at least that he was a guy who really appreciated his fans.

You do the same, when you're rich and famous, won't you?

Rish

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