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Critic Cites Revenge of the Sith As "Generation's Greatest Work of Art

samzenpus posted about a year ago | from the you-keep-using-that-word-I-do-not-think-it-means-what-you-think-it-means dept.

Education 376

eldavojohn writes "Art critic and University Professor of Humanities and Media Studies at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia Camille Paglia has written a book that not only claims George Lucas is the 'World's Greatest Living Artist' but also that 'Revenge of the Sith' is our generation's greatest work of art. That's right: Titian, Bernini, Monet, Picasso, Jackson Pollock and ... George Lucas. If you thought you understood art but you hated Episode III, it might be difficult to understand how her book 'Glittering Images: A Journey Through Art from Egypt to Star Wars' ends with 'Revenge of the Sith.' There is a possibility that the art world remembers this generation by examining that movie."

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Wow (5, Insightful)

longbot (789962) | about a year ago | (#42128657)

And I thought my opinion of art critics couldn't get any lower.

Titian, Bernini, Monet, Picasso, Jackson Pollock (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42128717)

There's the problem, none of them really "our generation".

Re: Titian, Bernini, Monet, Picasso, Jackson Pollo (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42128869)

So... you are saying that "our generation" just really sucks?

Re: Titian, Bernini, Monet, Picasso, Jackson Pollo (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42128973)

There's the problem, none of them really "our generation".

That was meant to be a chronological ordering of great artists that she followed in her book with Lucas being the ultimate.

Re:Wow (5, Funny)

mwvdlee (775178) | about a year ago | (#42128755)

Jar jar is just misunderstood; he isn't a redundant and annoying racial stereotype. He's really a heart-wrenching commentary on contemporary sociatal angst, portrayed through counter-cultural metaphorical symbolism.

Re:Wow (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42128923)

Obligatory XKCD: http://xkcd.com/451/

Amen! (3, Interesting)

Weezul (52464) | about a year ago | (#42129013)

Jar jar is the character that defined a generation of Americans, not my generation mind you, but a generation. I suppose that Bella defines the current youth.

Re:Amen! (1)

Gr8Apes (679165) | about a year ago | (#42129325)

From Harry Potter? Don't think so...

I'm assuming you're probably talking about that Twilight thing I've been assaulted with. Having had the accidental exposure to Kristen Stewart in Snow White and the Huntsman (which really should have been called "The Queen" - Charlize was the show IMHO) the only thing I could note was that she has a lot in common with a marionette, except she occasionally spoke (thank goodness it was only occasionally!!) The movie would have been significantly better, and shorter, had they removed some of the deer in headlight stares of the supposed headline "actress".

Re:Wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42129233)

Glory and Honor to Senator Binks of Naboo!

Re:Wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42128861)

And I thought my opinion of art critics couldn't get any lower.

You should go see the Cloud Atlas, there is a scene in it that film, involving a literary critic, which you will really like.

Re:Wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42129153)

All 3 of those (hell you can argue all 6) were pretty bad story wise. Visually though they were all stunning (yes even episode I).

Re:Wow (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42129249)

Camille Paglia is a good critic, but she also happens to be an even better troll.

Re:Wow (4, Insightful)

squiggleslash (241428) | about a year ago | (#42129367)

It's not an art critic, at least, no more one than I am. It's Camille Paglia, a media talking head who at one point was pulled into every cable TV show whenever they wanted a "controversial" opinion. Used to be largely centered around feminism. Think Andrea Huffington or Al Sharpton.

LOL? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42128659)

Pook you fucken suck!

say that over and over .... it sounds like duel of the fates.

How much is Disney paying her? (5, Funny)

schwit1 (797399) | about a year ago | (#42128663)

That or she's into some nasty nose candy.

Re:How much is Disney paying her? (4, Insightful)

SirGarlon (845873) | about a year ago | (#42129193)

Or maybe she's just saying all the other art of this generation is complete garbage that's even worse than Revenge of the Sith.

Re:How much is Disney paying her? (1)

somersault (912633) | about a year ago | (#42129329)

The scene from Kung Fu Panda where Grand Master Oogway ascends [youtube.com] is one of the prettiest things I've ever seen, and is quite moving too.

If she hasn't found good art in this generation, she's simply not looking hard enough.

No. (5, Insightful)

Sasayaki (1096761) | about a year ago | (#42128677)

Okay, I get it. Art is subjective. Sometimes someone's "best movie ever" is another's pukeorama. I know this.

But, no.

Just no.

Re:No. (1)

Jetra (2622687) | about a year ago | (#42128787)

I think movies are more personal than objective. I don't really watch movies because their artistic, I watch them because I like to imagine myself as part of the experience.

Also, I liked Attack of the Clones. Most people give me a stupid look, I give them a confused look right back. Fanatics say that it was terrible because of Jar Jar Binx, but I looked past the humor and enjoyed the story far more.

Re:No. (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42128813)

What story? There were just a bunch of walking cardboard cutouts and CG clones.

Re:No. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42128841)

Also, I liked Attack of the Clones. Most people give me a stupid look, I give them a confused look right back. Fanatics say that it was terrible because of Jar Jar Binx, but I looked past the humor and enjoyed the story far more.

For what it's worth, I agree with you completely--Attack of the Clones was best film of the three prequels. Unfortunately, my friends seem to agree with your friends, and act as though I'm suffering from a severe lack of judgement.

Re:No. (4, Insightful)

Black Parrot (19622) | about a year ago | (#42128937)

Maybe she defines "our generation" as "people who were 5 when the movie came out, and still think like 5-year-olds".

Ha Ha (5, Funny)

ebcdic (39948) | about a year ago | (#42128691)

Slashdot trolled by feminist academic.

Re:Ha Ha (5, Insightful)

rolfwind (528248) | about a year ago | (#42128913)

What I was thinking, brings to mind a quote I don't quite remember the exact details of, talking about shooting a gun to see who jumps.

So much of our mass media these days are just professional trolls who just take a contracdictory opinion to feed their bank account from the attention: Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, countless pundits, etcera. The whole 2012 election coverage was a farce to make it seem like there was an actual photofinish race vs a marathon where one guy was lagging a mile behind. Or CopperCab on Youtube.

I don't understand why people fall for the tactic again and again. So the worst is the lady may actually believe this, does anyone take the argument seriously? No, then move on and don't give her attentions/book sales/whatever either way.

Well, at least it will get page views (1)

mbone (558574) | about a year ago | (#42128695)

The sad thing is that I might have bought this before the three prequels came out.

What?! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42128701)


Re:What?! (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42128979)

You should have seen the rough draft. It was a steaming pile of sith.

Is this fightback against its bad reputation... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42128709)

...Revenge of Revenge of the Sith?

"art critic says" (1)

fantomas (94850) | about a year ago | (#42128727)

Enough said. Always been a fan of the bonkers commentary that Brian Sewell [wikipedia.org] comes out with myself.

Re:"art critic says" (4, Funny)

dkleinsc (563838) | about a year ago | (#42128807)

From History of the World, Part I:
"Even in most primitive man, the need to create was part of his nature. This need, this talent clearly separated early man from animals, who would never know this gift. And here, in a cave about 2 million years ago, the first artist was born. [a drawing of a buffalo is shown, and a proud artist] And, of course, with the birth of the artist, came the inevitable afterbirth... the critic. [the critic urinates on the drawing]"

Re:"art critic says" (1)

oobayly (1056050) | about a year ago | (#42128951)

Ah yes, Brian Sewell (who insists on calling Mary Magdalen, the woman, not the college, Mary Maudlin) is absolute proof that critics are failed artists.

Re:"art critic says" (3, Insightful)

fatphil (181876) | about a year ago | (#42129115)

He comes out with some nonsense, but I quite like - and agree with - a lot of what Sewell says. A lot of people in the art world are so puffed up and do need puncturing, I don't see why Brian should have less right to do that than anyone else. I don't think the accusations of hypocrisy are fair - for example he's not just an art critic, he's an artist himself, and when asked why he didn't have any exhibitions he said something like "why would anyone want to see what I've done?". He probably wishes other artists had the same respect for others.

It's not that stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42128739)

yeah ok, not that film!

But read the article, its basically saying all the creativity these days goes into movies and video game art, not into more traditional art which is becoming old and stale. And she's likely correct.

Nonsense ! (5, Funny)

alexhs (877055) | about a year ago | (#42128741)

Nonsense ! YouTube Charts tells me that Psy, Justin Bieber and Jennifer Lopez are the greatest artists !

Greater Artist (1)

SJHillman (1966756) | about a year ago | (#42128747)

I once knew a kid who, whether through a mental disability or through general weirdness, liked to smear his poop around places in public. I would consider him a greater artist than George Lucas, except for the fact his works could be considered an imitation of Revenge of the Sith.

Re:Greater Artist (1)

Alter_3d (948458) | about a year ago | (#42129361)

I once knew a kid who, whether through a mental disability or through general weirdness, liked to smear his poop around places in public. I would consider him a greater artist than George Lucas, except for the fact his works could be considered an imitation of Revenge of the Sith.

Michael Bay?

Oh, you said greater artist.... never mind

She's just trolling (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42128753)

This is just classic trolling. I'm surprised (a) that people take her seriously, and (b) someone of her stature would do this for attention.

I hope (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42128757)

...she gets a refund for her failed Master/PhD study.

Seriously. What a joke /sheldoncooperquoteregardinghowardwollowitz

I hereby declare "Gangnam Style" the greatest. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42128773)

Now I am worthy of my own Slashdot article.

Critics need an opinion (5, Insightful)

captainpanic (1173915) | about a year ago | (#42128777)

If art critics and movie critics would just blindly follow the popular opinions, there would not be much point in having them around.
We can check what's in the IMDB Top 250 without needing their help.

Same with Picasso... I'd much rather look at a peaceful picture of mountains than his morbid creations. It takes a critic to like it.

What a load. (2, Insightful)

MachineShedFred (621896) | about a year ago | (#42128791)

Any so-called art critic and professor who wants to put George Lucas next to William Shakespeare needs to just drive off a cliff.

Yeah, the Star Wars universe is pretty awesome, but it's hardly a cultural masterpiece that stands alongside works of art hanging in the Louvre.

Re:What a load. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42129347)

Yeah, the Star Wars universe is pretty awesome, but it's hardly a cultural masterpiece that stands alongside works of art hanging in the Louvre.

And for fucks sake give some credit to Irvin Kershner and name ESB instead of RotS!

How do I troll? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42128809)

Srsly, how do I troll?

Re:How do I troll? (3, Informative)

Black Parrot (19622) | about a year ago | (#42128849)

Srsly, how do I troll?

You post a long, superficially well reasoned argument that she's right.

Pulp Fiction (0)

invid (163714) | about a year ago | (#42128821)

While I agree that our highest art right now is the movies, I would put Quentin Tarantino down as the greatest artist.

Re:Pulp Fiction (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42129103)

I would put Quentin Tarantino down as the greatest artist.

While I am a fan of QT's films, part of my fandom is from the knowledge that he's massively influenced by a great many other film makers that I admire (influenced to the point of ripping off - or paying homage, depending on what side of the fence you're on). With that said, could someone as arguably unoriginal as QT really be considered the greatest artist in the medium of film?

Re:Pulp Fiction (2)

invid (163714) | about a year ago | (#42129163)

Yes. (I would site examples of the derivative nature of other great artist's works (Shakespeare, da Vinci), but I have to get back to work.)

Free publicity (3, Insightful)

Allicorn (175921) | about a year ago | (#42128829)

Entire Star Wars section added solely to gain publicity for the rest of the work.

Mission accomplished.

Retarded critic? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42128845)

I had to triple check the movie title due to my disbelief. What kind of moron would say that? The acting was awful, the art was laughable, storyline was boring, and the pacing was horrible. It was the second worse movie of the 6 just after episode 1, and has almost ruined Star Wars in my mind as a die hard fan.

The concept a critic would even give it a thumbs up, let along make this statement is both laughable and appalling.

What... the.... FUCK... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42128853)

There is nothing starwars that is the greatest work of anything. Unless its marketing.

This man Camille Paglia is a moron.

Devil's advocate (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42128859)

Criticism is most valuable when it tells you something you don't know. What could be more unknown than the opposite of an "obvious" unpopular opinion? Perhaps inventing reasonable arguments contrary to the consensus on a piece of art can lead to meaningful new ways of interpreting it, no matter how apparently correct the consensus may be.

Of course, the critic might not be doing any of that. I probably didn't read the article, much like this critic probably didn't watch the movie. I'm just inventing a reasonable argument contrary to the consensus, you see...

Copies (2)

ebonum (830686) | about a year ago | (#42128873)

Actually, you can know how good a work of art is in objective terms. Just look at how many people copy it. Take a painting from 1700's. The ones that were most heavily copied in their day were the most influential. The ones that were still being copied in the 1800's could be seen as great art.

How many people have copied ''Revenge of the Sith'. I know I saw it, but I don't even remember it. During Halloween you still see kids copying the first three movies. The 1977-1983 movies.

Re:Copies (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42129067)

This holds true in every case where "good" is used to mean "how many people copy it," but the statement is not evidently true in itself.

Is the first smiley face the best art in history? (Or is it no longer being copied in favor of derivatives?) Is the Christian cross terrific art, or are only particular, traceable versions of it good art? Is something bad art until its artist dies, at which point copies shoot up and it becomes much better art?

There may be hidden premises supporting your assertion you would do well to unravel and explore.

Re:Copies (3, Interesting)

ledow (319597) | about a year ago | (#42129259)

My definition of how "arty" something is, to counteract all the shite that I see pushed as art, is thus:

"The amount of skill needed to reproduce the piece given the same time, materials and techniques."

So a square of splatty paint on a bit of canvas that the artist pondered over for a decade isn't very arty at all. 5-year-olds could copy it. Michaelangelo's David? That's a serious piece of art that's incredibly difficult to make. Sure, you could mould it or 3D print it or laser-scan it and then even CNC it, but it would take an artist (a proper one!) to make it using only the same methods / materials as it was originally produced with.

Similarly, splatting a bit of moondust or graphite sheets on a canvas and calling it art is stretching it because GIVEN those materials, the arrangement of them isn't anything fabulous. They *can* be highly-skilled art, but there the art is in the skill, not the materials, and the higher-skill, the harder to reproduce given those materials, no matter how rare they are.

This (to me) helpfully eradicates all of the shite that pretends to be art (especially the "interpretive" art where you're supposed to appreciate the message more than the delivery - pretty much everything since Picasso) while keeping all the classics, the masters and the geniuses firmly in their age-old deserved places.

By that definition, given a budget as large as the movie had, given the computer technology and everything else that was there, how hard would it be to generate something like that movie (or so similar as to be indistinguishable)? I don't think it would be as tricky as George Lucas would like to make out. Maybe *I* couldn't do it, but certainly any director of merit probably could pull it off quite easily.

The best artists I see today are putting work online for free, scrabbling for space on street corners, and selling things that must take them FOREVER to make for a few pounds on etsy or from their back yard or similar.

The best artist I've seen lately was some old guy I found living in a house in the Highlands (a turning in Erogie, near Inverness, Scotland, marked as "Art Gallery" on a scrap of paper by the side of the road, you can't miss it - there are about four houses in the town, and after you've driven 2 miles following those signs off-road through fields, over bridges, past farms, etc. and there's NOTHING else but those signs until you end up in front of his ramshackle house with a yappy little dog excited to see ANYONE, that's the guy!), who sells some beautiful "classic" paintings of things like stags and deer for a pittance out of his back bedroom.

Out of the thousands of "galleries" around that area, his was the only one that wasn't mass-produced, didn't have 10,000 prints of an actual nice painting (being the only thing really worth the money in most places, in my opinion), and had things that you actually had to whistle in disbelief when you saw the skill and time that had gone into it.

I can't believe people will spend an hour in some posh art gallery down the road, spending thousands while looking at the millionth print of a photograph someone took of the local scenery (it's really NOT that hard to take a photograph of nice scenery in that area, and then print it out) and the crudely Photoshopped to remove the huge electricity pylons that were in it, rather than go look at the old guy at work (hell, just his conversation is worth the price of the paintings).

It's not how many people copy it, it's not how long it took you to make, it's not what name it has on the bottom, it's not even how much it cost. It's how hard it would be to reproduce using the same material, techniques and time as the original creator did.

And by that definition, the "first" episode of the Star Wars trilogy (chronologically) is probably more arty than all the newer prequels put together. But where they come on the same scale as everything else is probably floating around the same rating as The Blair Witch Project.

Bush era political movie (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42128875)

Anyone with half a brain knows "Revenge of the Sith" had a political message.

unconsidered candidate (4, Insightful)

O('_')O_Bush (1162487) | about a year ago | (#42128891)

I submit Shigeru Miyamoto as the greatest living artist. His creations are at least as iconic and influential.

Titian? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42128895)

Didnt he just paint a bunch of fat, naked women fondling angels and ogres?

Hemmingway.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42128911)

Must remember:

Write drunk, edit sober.

(BEFORE POSTING, don't forget edit part)

Note the phrase "in our generation" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42128919)

Note that it says "in our generation". The OP actually limits it to the last 30 years. So comparisons with Monet, Shakespeare, Titian, Bernini, etc. are missing the whole point. Art in the last 30 years? Hasn't been much noteworthy. That time frame doesn't even permit the original Star Wars movie. Oh man, now I feel really old.

And the worst art critic award goes to... (2)

mschaffer (97223) | about a year ago | (#42128939)

And the worst art critic of our generation award goes to...Camille Paglia. Honorable mention goes to Media Studies at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia for hiring this tool. Even Jar Jar Binks was quoted as saying, "Meesa thinks she's a nutcase."
This is the same idiot that describes herself as a "dissident feminist" (whatever that is). Perhaps she is also a dissident art critic. Let's call a duck a duck. She's a heretic.

Re:And the worst art critic award goes to... (2)

fredrated (639554) | about a year ago | (#42129039)

Well put, I would add that she is a moron as well, BUTshe did get a posting on slashdot and that's worth less than you might think.

Is this the 90s!? She's been trolling for years. (5, Informative)

Methodkiller (2784445) | about a year ago | (#42128987)

Paglia has been trolling the feminist establishment for for years [wikiquote.org]. Now she has broadened her trolling to sell more books. It's boring and this post is troll bait.

This is ridiculos (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42128997)

Avatar is way better!

She's obviously right. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42129015)

If she had picked a less controversial piece nobody would talk about or buy her book.

Well, THAT was unexpected... (5, Informative)

Millennium (2451) | about a year ago | (#42129041)

I never expected to agree with TFA. I mean, come on; if Revenge of the Sith is truly the greatest work of art produced in the last thirty years, then the artistic state of humanity has fallen far indeed. But then I went and read the thing, only to find that the critic is pretty much saying exactly this: that it is the greatest work of art produced in the last thirty years, because the artistic state of humanity has fallen so far.

Re:Well, THAT was unexpected... (1)

msk (6205) | about a year ago | (#42129243)

I disagree strongly on both the artistic state of humanity and on Revenge of the Sith. I'll take The Verdict [imdb.com] over it any day. I still say Paul Newman was railroaded on the Best Actor Oscar that year. Ben Kingsley didn't yet deserve it, even for Gandhi. The consolation prize Newman received later for The Color of Money was an insult.

If that writer really wants to laud a Star Wars film, add two years to the retrospective and pick The Empire Strikes Back. It still beats any of the other five, in part because Lucas wasn't in the screenwriting or directing chairs.

Re:Well, THAT was unexpected... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42129251)

I took it more as that the state of the art world has fallen so far and grown insular and irrelevant.

Re:Well, THAT was unexpected... (2)

Riceballsan (816702) | about a year ago | (#42129337)

well I can certainly agree the artistic state of the world has fallen terribly, and continues to plummet. But are they saying revenge of the sith is the peak of the last 30 years? The best done since 1982 to the present? I would agree, when you factor in most of the rest of the crap that comes out, revenge of the sith isn't that bad, it is more average.

Compliment to Lucas or Insult to Our Generation? (1)

Bob9113 (14996) | about a year ago | (#42129065)

Obviously she's saying it to be provocative, but is her underlying message that Lucas is a genius, or that our generation venerates garish reheated tripe? We have extended and expanded copyright into such a giant cash spewing regulatory juggernaut that it has drowned out art, strangled cultural commentary, and left nothing of media production but self-loathing prostitution of regurgitated, once-great story lines. Maybe she's just a senior citizen taking a shot at "these damn kids these days".

Wrong Picture (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42129099)

Yet the picture in the article is not from Ep. III?

Contemporary Art (1)

physlord (1790264) | about a year ago | (#42129109)

Camille Paglia, why?, Why!. YOU WERE THE CHOSEN ONE!

Clearly, Contemporary Art is getting harder to understand. What a bunch of morons we are, for not appreciating a truly expression of the beauty.

Actually.... (3, Insightful)

ThosLives (686517) | about a year ago | (#42129111)

To be fair, there are a couple really good scenes in Revenge of the Sith. As a whole the movie is indeed pretty lacking, but if the whole movie had more scenes like the following, it could have been something truly grand:

The best is the scene (sans dialog!) where (eh, am I really going to spoiler this?) there is one character looking across the city toward where another character is doing something atrocious. That is a brilliant scene, where there is actually a glimpse of emotion, conveyed not by dialog or effects, but simple imagery and the score.

It's too bad, really, that the rest of the movie is so full of cliche and noise.

Paglia's a career provocateur (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42129119)

That's what she does for a living -- she makes goofy statements (like calling herself a liberal AND extolling some of the virtues of neo-conservatism) to tweak people.

Her Wiki page has a Naomi Wolf quote, from 20 years ago, describing Paglia as "full of howling intellectual dishonesty."

Most well read people treat Paglia as a talking point, not as a serious critic.

You almost prove her point (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | about a year ago | (#42129137)

that 'Revenge of the Sith' is our generation's greatest work of art. That's right: Titian, Bernini, Monet, Picasso, Jackson Pollock and ... George Lucas.

George Lucas is the only one of those people who has been alive in the last 30 years, let alone produced "art". Titian and Bernini have been dead for hundreds of years (unless there's more modern artists also using those names of course, but you'd expect a better reference than those famous single names) and are ridiculous to include in a "this generation" category.

Re:You almost prove her point (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42129263)

Not sure if serious.

That list is chronological. Titian et al are great (the greatest) masters of their era and George Lucas is proposed as the greatest for ours with Revenge of the Sith being the current culmination of man's creative output...

To be fair (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42129205)

From the blurb, it doesn't sound like she's talking about him as a screenwriter or director, but rather as a visual artist and mythmaker. There's an argument for him being a great artist there, I think. Greatest living, perhaps not.

Opinions are like... (1)

Stolpskott (2422670) | about a year ago | (#42129207)

Opinions are like assholes, every body has one. As art critics (in fact, all critics) are only heard when expressing their opinions, it kind of stands to reason that the reaction stinks.
Having said that, the majority of artists who today are considered the real greats, responsible for some of the finest art works in history, were either completely unappreciated during their lifetime and died penniless and destitute, or they were appreciated for things other than their artwork and derived income from sources other than their artistic endeavours.

Granted, George Lucas is never going to die penniless (but if he wants to give me all his money 5 minutes before he dies, just to prove me wrong, I am not going to complain), so he does not fall into the penniless category. Equally, he is not appreciated for anything he has done outside of the Star Wars franchise, unless you count the setting up of Industrial Light & Magic and similar business ventures, so he can hardly fall into the "artistic genius who earned money in other ways, with his artistic genius only being appreciated after his death" category, even allowing for the fact that he is not dead.

Personally, I can come up with a list of potential "Best artist of our generation" candidates that is longer than the credits for all 3 Star Wars prequels put together and which would not contain the name "George Lucas", but that is going to be my opinion, which is no more valid than Ms Paglia's effort.

More of a criticism of the art world (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42129221)

Her comment in the article (haven't read the book) reads more like a criticism of the stagnant art world than any real praise of the film itself.

Well, what about Revenge of the Sith? You say it's the greatest work of art, in any medium, created in the last 30 years. Itâ(TM)s better than... uh, Matthew Barney or Rachel Whiteread or Chris Ware or Peter Doig?

Yes, the long finale of Revenge of the Sith has more inherent artistic value, emotional power, and global impact than anything by the artists you name. It's because the art world has flat-lined and become an echo chamber of received opinion and toxic over-praise. It's like the emperor's new clothesâ"people are too intimidated to admit what they secretly think or what they might think with their blinders off.

Having read a little bit of contemporary literary fiction I can say that she has a point - professors over-intellectualizing dull professorial and uninterestingly self-absorbed topics seems to rule the day and makes me yearn for another Orwell or Hemingway - authors who wrote engagingly about big subjects and who were somewhat populist authors.

Same thing for the artists. I actually kind of like Barney and Whiteread and when you view their work through a sensible conceptual lense at least it makes some sense. But really, it's not about anything important so much as it's about something intellectually interesting to the artist and maybe their friends and some critics (maybe you could argue Barney gets to something fundamental about identity but the expression is so formalized that it doesn't have much personal impact). His work means something only to a select few.

So I think that this is the point that Paglia is making and she's picked a bit of an over the top counter example to shake things up in the art world. I mean, if a leading critic (or at least a famous one) says that the supposed best contemporary artists are worse than a mediocre Star Wars film that will help her to force the conversation she wants to have. If anybody cares, at least.

Its a tactic she is using to get sales. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42129237)

So she writes a book that really no one would have cared about or heard about otherwise and she desperately needs attention to get sales so what does she do? Make a really stupid, idiotic, wholely untruthful claim and says things that will insight the very fanbase she is writing for. She just wants attention, thats it because lets face it NONE of us have ever heard anyone else ever say much good about george lucas so she comes out with this outlandish claim that defies us all because she wants us to pay attention to her because attention means more sales.

Lucas is as to as.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42129239)

Im european and i will get a Nobel Pease Price.

George Lucas is as Monet as me is to Gandi.. (there is no connection)

Wait, what? (1)

jitterman (987991) | about a year ago | (#42129269)

When asked why she chose this movie:

It's because the art world has flat-lined and become an echo chamber of received opinion and toxic over-praise.

So she's railing against over-praise by... over-praising something. Maybe there's genius in that, but I think she believes she is being deep, which is ironic, and doubly so when you read what she said just prior to that:

There's too much gimmickry and irony and not enough intuition and emotion.

Gimmickry? I'm not sure it's possible that he could have included any more in the movie (everything from "gimmicky" CGI to story gimmick - I mean come on, Anakin BUILT the two 'droids? Really? It's a big fuckin' galaxy, I ain't buyin' it. And yes I know, that reveal wasn't in THIS film, but still...). Irony? Well, not only is her choice ironic considering WHY she says she chose it, but the irony of Lucas eschewing his younger self's statement that (paraphrasing here) technology should not win out over humanity is a most perfect example of the meaning of the word. And if she was looking for emotion, boy did she pick something with an overdose.

The critic is strong in this one (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42129271)

Those who can't create, critique.

Art critic defies popular wisdom? What a great way to generate publicity for mediocre work. I mean, sheesh, she somehow manages to fit discussion of depictions of the penis in art into one of the interview articles, and then starts slagging other critics about their views. Brilliant and classic stuff, for a critic, which is a pretty low standard. Sure to generate some sales, though.

YES! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42129301)

If you carefully re-arrange the letters Sith... you'll get a better word to describe the movie...

Proof positive... (1)

Jawnn (445279) | about a year ago | (#42129373)

...that 99.99% of /. readers don't get sarcasm unless it's tagged for them. This group would include, apparently, the submitter and editors. Oh, wait. She was actually serious...
And..., if one bother's to RTFA, one realizes that she's talking about the visuals. We are all agreed that the movie was a turd, but the visual art within it is not without merit. Too bad most of it was actually created by artists whose names only appear in the smallest print in the closing credits, but hey, she's an art critic and knows dick about how motion pictures like that are actually made.

Alex Grey (1)

DexPleiadian (634812) | about a year ago | (#42129375)

destroys George Lucas when it comes to art. I think shes trying to be off-the-wall here for off-the-wall's sake. More than likely, it is to bring attention to her book. As far as Alex Grey goes, I believe his greatest work is the CoSMic Christ collection of paintings. This coming from a non-religious agnostic.
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