4 items from 2016
By Bill Duelly
We’ve seen them at sci-fi or collectibles conventions shows; some more so in England than the Us. They man tables with stacks of photos, offering autographs or pictures for a fee. In many cases their faces aren’t familiar, as their characters wore heavy makeup or masks in their appearance in the original “Star Wars” film. Still, even as you approach them face-to-face some of these people still don’t ring a bell. Maybe it’s because their scenes were deleted or they were an extra amongst many. Others, you discover are a familiar masked character and you are happy to chat for a few moments with them, as that movie, and its two sequels (I am only referring to the original trilogy starring Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher), had such a lasting impact on your childhood.
“Elstree 1976” is a recent documentary that follows ten such actors who, »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Cinema Retro)
Elstree 1976, 2015.
Directed by Jon Spiral.
Documentary focusing on the bit-part actors and extras from the original 1977 Star Wars movie.
Elstree 1976 is not just a documentary about Star Wars; in fact, it’s not even really about Star Wars at all but a vindication that, in these enlightened times, the culture that has erected itself from George Lucas’ vision has become bigger than the source itself. Think about it – what other movie franchise could boast about or even justify inspiring a documentary focusing on the background players, some of whom didn’t even have a line or, in one case at least, his character didn’t even appear in the final cut of the movie? Bond? Harry Potter? The Lord of the Rings? Don’t think so.
But, as with all documentaries, »
- Amie Cranswick
Everybody knows Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, and Carrie Fisher. When Disney bought Lucasfilm from George Lucas and announced they’d be producing a new Star Wars trilogy and spin-off features, everyone knew those three would be back in the fold. Even guys like Peter Mayhew, Anthony Daniels, and Kenny Baker were known commodities to consult if not star underneath the costumes they made famous. But what of the other actors — the nameless, sometimes faceless, and almost always uncredited performers who were a part of something so universally revered? Does their being extras mean they weren’t as important to the legend? Fans lining up for autographs don’t think so. Anyone on set and immortalized in one of history’s greatest cinematic franchises is an unequivocal hero.
To people like me who love the series but never rendered it into a cornerstone of daily life, however, these smaller, hidden roles prove an intriguing curio. »
- Jared Mobarak
"There are no small parts, only small actors," famed acting coach Konstantin Stanislavsky once remarked, and it's the kind of statement that can only bring comfort to the many, many aspiring actors who never get their chance to shine in a lead role. However, in the new documentary “Elstree 1976” the players who helped bring George Lucas' "Star Wars" to life — and I'm not talking about Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, or Harrison Ford — do get their moment to share what it was like to make movie history. Read More: Full Length 'Star Wars' Documentary 'Secrets Of The Force Awakens: A Cinematic Journey' To Premier At SXSW Directed by Jon Spira, and featuring David Prowse (the man wearing Darth Vader’s suit), Paul Blake (Greedo), Angus MacInnes (who played an X-Wing pilot), Derek Lyons (supporting artist), and more, the documentary takes an affectionate look at the people who stumbled into movie history, »
- Kevin Jagernauth
4 items from 2016
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