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Thursday, March 11, 2010

Found: Black Angel

If you're at least 38 years old, you may remember a short film that was shown jointly with the theatrical release of The Empire Strikes Back in 1980. (I'm way past old enough, but have no recollection of that year at all.) The short film was Black Angel, produced with gift money of £25,000 from George Lucas for his appreciation of the art direction provided by Roger Christian in Star Wars.

Mr. Christian used the money to produce a moody, mystical fantasy art film set in the middle ages. The film was lost for many years following an illness suffered by Mr. Christian, but nevertheless was quite influential to filmmakers. Fortunately, a half-inch print of the film has been found. ShadowLocked has an excellent and exclusive interview with Black Shadow director Roger Christian. In the article containing the interview, you'll find stills from the film and conversation about its making and history.

An interesting quote from the interview:

"Cinema has changed so much, and I bless Peter Jackson [director of the Lord of the Rings trilogy], because he gave the world what it didn't know it wanted, and brought this kind of fantasy world into huge mainstream cinema, finally. And did it so beautifully."

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