One of the annual oddities of the Starz Denver Film Festival is the scheduling of the closing night film (this year, the unintentionally hilarious Black Swan) on the event's second-to-the-last day. As usual, Sunday, the day after, featured a full slate of cinema, with The People vs. George Lucas proving to be a tasty dessert whipped up by local director Alexandre O. Philippe, whose next movie subject is none other than Paul the Octopus.
SDFF director emeritus Ron Henderson introduced Philippe prior to the screening, and the director obliged the friendly crowd with some good-natured shtick, including a cameo from a Star Wars stormtrooper that he fended off with Obi-Wan Kenobi-style Jedi mind tricks. Then, after screening the film, which explores the love-hate relationship fans have with Lucas -- obsessive affection for his creation of the SW universe and the original trilogy, deep loathing for his decision to tweak those flicks and make three new, consistently crappy episodes years later -- Phillippe took the stage again alongside cinematographer Robert Muratore and producer Kerry Deignan Roy for a dishy Q&A.
Among the revelations: While Phillippe couldn't formally announce a distribution deal for People, he stressed that it will be appearing at a theater near you in the not-too-distant future (he talked about agreements covering English-speaking territories and a few other countries). In addition, he noted that the crew's followup will focus on the aforementioned octopus, who successfully (and allegedly) predicted the results of Germany's World Cup games before meeting his maker last month. Phillippe noted that he'd gotten to spend some quality time with Paul just a few weeks before his death -- and refrained from referring to him as "delicious."
The screening's capper was a literal blast: An outrageously costumed marching band trotted into the screening, held at the King Center, on the Metro State campus, to perform a special, Lucas-centric number set to the tune of Run D.M.C.'s "It's Tricky" and rapped by a megaphone-wielding Boba Fett (as seen in the photo above). The screwy salute provided an appropriate finale for a festival that never seems to run short of surprises.
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Here's the trailer for The People vs. George Lucas:
More from our Television & Film archive: "Starz Denver Film Festival opening night with Aaron Eckhart: Falling through a Rabbit Hole."