77th Cannes Film Festival: Honorary Palme awarded to George Lucas

One of the most moving moments of this year’s closing ceremony (25/5) of the 77th Cannes International Film Festival was when two film legends and good friends, George Lucas and Francis Ford Coppola, met on stage to receive their first hands. the second is the Honorary Palme d’Or for his entire career and the seventh for his contribution to art.

“I came to thank you all. I’m just a kid from California, a place surrounded by vineyards, and I was shooting a movie in San Francisco with my friend Francis Ford Coppola. I’ve never actually made a movie as a director in Hollywood. That’s why it’s a great honor to be here today,” said George Lucas, the creator of the films “Star Wars” and “Indiana Jones”, as well as the director of the films “THX-1138” and “American Graffiti”, while accepting the award. the audience gave him a long standing ovation. The American director answered “stubbornness” to the question “what does it take to continue making good films” accompanying the promotional video shown in the Lumière room with important films of his career.

In his speech, Francis Ford Coppola recalled the time when he wanted to make an adaptation of Lucas’ Flash Gordon, but Hollywood producers refused to finance it because he was not a “important” director. And then he decided to make a completely personal film, which, of course, was Star Wars. “Congratulations George, it’s not just me and your many friends who are proud of you, it’s the whole world here tonight to honor you,” Coppola said.

In announcing the honorary Palma D’Or award, the organization praised Lucas for his “unwavering passion for technology” that made him “one of the pioneers of the visual effects industry”.

“The Cannes Film Festival has always held a special place in my heart,” the American director said when he learned of the award. “I was surprised and delighted when my first film, THX-1138, was selected to be screened here for the first time in a new program for directors called Directors’ Fortnight. Since then, I have returned to the festival on many occasions and in various capacities as screenwriter, director and producer. This award given to me this year is an honor and means a lot to me. I’m very happy to be here, even though I’m nostalgic because I used to come here for Indiana Jones and Star Wars. Obviously, I have a lot of fans, but I have never done award-winning films. Therefore, the Golden Palm of Honor is a big difference for me,” he said.

Last Friday (24/5), George Lucas gave a unique masterclass in the Debussy Room to an audience of over 1,000 as part of the Festival.

There, George Lucas said that his desire to make films arose when he went to study at the University of Southern California: “I never wanted to make ordinary films. Our professors told us that most of us would never become directors. Fortunately, the people who built Hollywood were now retiring and the studios were hiring new people. There I met Francis Ford Coppola. He made various shots, entrusted me with some things, and that’s how I started cinema. I was always interested in making films, I was not interested in making money.”

As for the negative criticism he’s received over the years about Star Wars being full of white people, he says, “But most of them are aliens. The idea is that you have to accept people for who they are, whether they’re big or furry or green or whatever. The idea is that all people are equal.”

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