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Starry Starry Night

Last night at the Kodak Theater, the AFI presented its Lifetime Achievement Award to George Lucas in a glittering star-studded black tie affair. It was my first time inside the Kodak, which is quite elegantly appointed despite the giant stone elephants outside. William Shatner opened the proceedings, proving that he still does the best William Shatner impression, with his rendition of "My Way" in front of rockette-style dancing Star Wars storm troopers. The rest of the evening was not quite so surreal, however.

I don't want to spoil any surprises since the show will be telecast on USA cable on June 20, but the various presenters kept everything moving, funny and often touching. Carrie Fisher received the most raucous laughter for her often off-color tribute, some of which may be too blue even for cable. And Peter Jackson has lost a shocking amount of weight such that I only recognized him from his voice. The video presentations were informative and insightful, particularly when such directors as Jackson and James Cameron analyzed Lucas' influence on their work. For a director who, as Lucas jokingly admitted, has such a small body of work, he has had enormous influence conceptually as well as technologically.

Other than that, the food was delicious, if insufficient (for those not having dinner on the main floor with the stars), the champagne was acceptable and the people beautiful. I only wish there'd been a little less jaded sophistication from the invited industry audience, and a little more actual appreciation. But then in my secret identity I am a fangirl, so I would say that, wouldn't I?


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 22nd, 2005 04:58 pm (UTC)
brad and i watched, and i howled when the storm troopers were doing their kick line behind shatner. surreal is a perfect description. beautifully surreal.

carrie fisher made me laugh, as did harrison ford (although he seemed a little tipsy, and i'm being kind.). i was surprised to see calista flockhart look so botoxed! she cannot have aged that much since her series was on television. it just looks awful. so unnatural. looked like carrie fisher had some work done, too. i just cannot understand why that look is better than a few crows feet.

mark hamill seemed sweet, and i really enjoyed the james earl jones voice overs.

what seemed a little surprising was that i don't recall seeing any of the people in the last three movies -- even in cutaway shots of the audience, except jimmy smits. that's not to say that i was looking hard for them, but in retrospect, i don't remember them at all. hmmmm...

the ending, on tv, was anti-climactic... so i was a little disappointed in its abruptness. but what can you do? you give the guy the award and he makes a few comments. i appreciated the tongue in cheek comments about lucas' writing. but where do you go after that? i don't know, but i was still a little disapointed.

anyway, i'm so glad you posted about this and gave us a heads up to watch. i wish i had been home to see the afi's 100 movie quotes last night, too. someone sent me a copy of those this morning, and i've been reading them throughout the day.


Jun. 23rd, 2005 05:32 am (UTC)
They cut the hell out of it, but then that's no surprise. Some, like Hanks, benefited from the edits but I'm sorry Hamel's speech was shortened not to mention some of Fisher's raunchy jokes. And Dreyfus' impromptu but touching tribute to Anne Bancroft was also unfortunately, if understandably, left out. Lucas did mention in his speech that McGregor, Portman and Christianson were filming out of the country and could not attend the ceremony but they trimmed his words, too. It would have been wiser to have left at least that part in.

The camera pans of the audience outside the guests of honor table were dizzyingly quick. Sadly, you could not see that Peter Mayhew got to change out of the Chewbacca costume back into a tuxedo. A number of those on the floor were industry bigwigs and Lucasfilm employees who otherwise go unrecognized. Since her back was toward me most of the time, I really didn't get a good look at Flockhart. This is a rough town to grow old in, particularly if you're a woman. I saw plenty of plastic walking in, mostly on very young women.
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