THX 1138 (1970)
THX 1138 is George Lucas’ first.
tagline: Visit the future where love is the ultimate crime.
It is a futuristic story in which people are forbidden to have sex, to experience sobriety or to accessorize their white pajamas. THX (Robert Duvall) is experiencing trouble at work and with his roommate LUH (Maggie McOmie). It seems she likes him and wants him to stop taking drugs and escape the city with her. By the time he realizes that he’s living in a dystopian society, it may be too late to save himself or his girlfriend.
It’s technically quite good. This is the first time in this experiment that I have seen a movie that looks like science fiction. I enjoyed the immersive quality to the visuals and the sounds. The film is clearly influential because most dystopian futuristic movies I’ve seen in the last twenty years look just like it. Design elements such as the dehumanizing baldness, the ugly white pajamas and the robotic police worked well. The last shot has been repeated a lot but it still looked good.
I don’t care for films that place style over substance, which is why most contemporary films annoy me. If the viewer prefers the cinematic experience to satisfying narrative, then this movie should be a treat.
If you’re like me…the movie is only 1 hour and 28 minutes but it’s difficult to believe that. Immersive narratives are slow-moving and I understand that but they don’t need to be this snail-paced or this confusing.
The opening scenes in which THX works at a dangerous job creating C3POs for a heartless government are quite good. The most exciting part of the day is when the Totalitarian Medicine Cabinet greets him. He does drop by a confessional but the automated words of comfort start looping. LUH, whom we have seen moping at work, joins him at home. She mopes some more and he channel surfs, watching the news, a bit of the old ultraviolence and a naked dancer.
On a side note, I was amused that LUH was wearing eyeshadow. I’d love to see where she bought it. Maybe it just showed up in the Totalitarian Medicine Cabinet.
It gets more incoherent after these initial scenes. Nobody says or does anything much interesting for the bulk of the movie. The chase scene didn’t enliven things for me either.
I’d recommend it to those who enjoy visually appealing but incoherent stories about former drones crashing futuristic vehicles. Of course, that describes a number of recent blockbusters.
A thoughtful review. link.
I hope A Boy and His Dog is more entertaining.