This summer, a quite extraordinary piece of cinema history was unearthed ... an hour-long video interview with George Lucas from 1971, the year THX 1138 was released.

Even though he was only 27 at the time, Lucas was considered something of a veteran of the film industry and this rambling interview details his career to that point, includes footage some of his early experimental films, much of which I've never seen before.

It also finds Lucas at a crossroads in his life: The ideals he and his mentor, Francis Ford Coppola, had cherished of creating an independent film company - the first Zoetrope - had floundered and Lucas was facing up, for the first time, to either going mainstream and dealing with the big studios, or abandoning film-making all-together. 

Well, we all know the decision he made and we all know the end result but, back in 1971, Lucas himself didn't know which way to go.  I think it makes fascinating viewing to see him speaking so candidly about his influences and his ambitions ... when we know exactly how much of it eventually came to pass.

Michael Heilemann's website Binary Bonsai found the film and put it on-line.

It's about an hour long but, I think, an hour very, very well spent.

Let me know what you think.

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