George Lucas was granted access to Francis Ford Coppola's making of "The Rain People", which allowed him to document in this movie the filmmaking process of a long shooting in many ... See full summary »
fun exercise for Lucas as documentary filmmaker, no more no less
Though he goes uncredited, Lucas directed his last documentary - on the making of his own film, THX-1138 - and it has a similar approach to the one he made on his friend Coppola's The Rain People, called Filmmaker. It's really brief, barely eight minutes, and is not really a making of as far as going far in depth into the artistic process. All it really is is Lucas being "interviewed" by Coppola in a staged setting about what inspired him to get into filmmaking (most tellingly for much of the rest of his career he says comic books), and then how he chose to make this future society unique in the way that it didn't exist: all the actors would shave their heads. Then we get to see that, including the actress Maggie McOmie (who played LUH in the film, the actors were possibly traumatized by it.
It could be real tears and freaking out from her and a couple others over their hair being shorn off - Duvall, who was already bald by this point, was more diplomatic about it - or it could be part of the staging. The guessing is part of what makes it interesting, and it wasn't a common thing at the time for actors to shave their heads for roles, certainly not the women, so it makes for a compelling thing to witness (a little like a precursor, however intentional, to the opening of Full Metal Jacket - dehumanization in action). I think if you're looking to this to really be in-depth then you'll be disappointed; if you want to see Lucas have some fun with some staged documentary-style sequences, including co-writer Walter Murch talking with Coppola about what the hell is going on with the hair (and also McOmie in front of what looks like a work of art), then it's... cool.
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