Maybe slightly too long (yeah, even at 100 minutes), but there's a lot of wonderful anecdotes from all of these 'walk-on' players and actors and people-behind-masks, and it's not completely about the making of Star Wars either. I think that was what pleasantly surprised me the most; not only that, the people talk about where they came from and their personal lives to an extent - all of them, from what I could tell, came from working class backgrounds, had sometimes sick/dead family members, and it was not necessarily always a 'I'm going to be this kind of actor' let alone any kind of recognizable entity - and, after Star Wars, how their lives fared.
Some kept on working in movies (there's one guy who went on to be in a number of films as the sort of 'oh, hey, background guy' in films like Living Daylights and Last Crusade), some didn't (the one actress, who barely considers herself that, found that she was more keen on getting her walk-on roles and not really seeking anything more), and some went on to being other iconic figures (Dave Prowse as... cross-walk guy?) There's also a good deal of time spent talking about fans and conventions, and the reactions to how these cons go isn't anything too out of this world (as one of them says, 95% of the people are terrific, the rest are... weird), but it adds another level on to the proceedings.
Most interesting is the bit about how there is a sort of tier system as far as people going to these conventions, with one man being interviewed (I forget his name but he's the guy that gets blown up in the X-Wing after shouting "Loosen up!" and recalls not remembering his lines out of order) saying that at one con a guy came trying to make himself into a thing when he wasn't even credited... and then this same guy, one presumes - or someone like him- is interviewed, and I mean, hey, that briefing scene on the Death Star on Yavin had a LOT of guys, you know. And meanwhile a guy like Prowse says with only a bit of bitterness that he isn't asked to conventions anymore, certainly not the official SW ones, but it doesn't seem as anything sad, like he knows he's made some bad blood along the way ...(the context, in case anyone's curious, Prowse used to be really terrible when it came to leaking info about the sequels when they were in production, to the point where he wasn't given the pivotal line in 'Empire' due to his loose lips, so that may be a reason he neglects to mention, but I digress)...
The key thing with Elstree is that you don't have to be a major Star Wars fan to see it. I'm sure it helps, and having listened recently to the 'I Was There Too' podcast with Anthony Forrest (the 'Mind-Trick' Stormtrooper, and another character cut from the final version), there's some extra things to find out about these people that make them interesting all within this context. Stylistically it's talking heads and a sprinkling of film clips, stills, (mostly from SW, and sometimes, to emphasize a character as the one neat trick, the film does a kind of back and forth loop like one might see on, of all places, Instagram, but it works as a 'here's this guy or woman').
What it comes down to is that these people would be great fun to talk to in sum, and that's the important thing. While the fandom is nice for these people, it's not everything (not even for Prowse, not anymore, or Jeremy Bulloch, the one actor interviewed here that wasn't there in 76), so in a way this is more like a series of human interest stories that happens to have as the connecting thread of 'Oh yeah, that sci-fi movie that the quiet bearded guy was directing). It works for both crowds, even as it's special up to a point, a 'good for one watch' thing.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this