Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Star Wars: Return of the Jedi and Black Angel Coming to Mill Valley Film Festival 36

The California Film Institute is holding it's annual Mill Valley Film Festival (MVFF) October 3-13, 2013. The event will feature some interesting Star Wars and Star Wars related content.

On October 7th their will be a special 30th anniversary screening of Return of the Jedi.  The pre-show events for this screening will begin at 5:30 pm while the screening itself will start at 6:30 pm.  Tickets are on sale now and priced very reasonably at $14.50 for adults, $13.50 for members and $10 for children 12 and under.  If you do attend any screenings at this festival ensure that you arrive 15 minutes early to secure your seat.

Cosplay is encouraged by the festival for this screening at it will feature prizes and giveaways as well as special guests for a question and answer session.

This will likely be very much like Entertainment Weekly's CapeTown film festival 30th anniversary screening which took place at Hollywood's Egyptian Theatre on May 4th of this year.  As an attendee of the CapeTown screening, I can say that it was a lot of fun to see Return of the Jedi on the big screen and being there with hardcore Star Wars and film fans was a tremendous amount of fun.

On October 13th on the final day of the festival, there will be a screening as part of the 5 @ 5 Shorts section, of Black Angel and some festival favorites. This screening will begin at 8 pm and run 90 minutes.

Black Angel is a 22 minute short film written and directed by Roger Christian, a set decorator on A New Hope and Second Unit Director on The Phantom Menace. The short film was funded by George Lucas and packaged with the theatrical release of The Empire Strikes Back in it's foreign release in the United Kingdom, Australia and Scandinavia.

An August 12, 1997 profile of Christian on StarWars.com during the production of The Phantom Menace gives a bit of the back story on his career and how Black Angel fits into it.
It was his experience on the original Star Wars and his growing love for film that led to Christian's career change. "After Star Wars I art-directed the first Alien film, then I wrote a short film and went back to film school," he says. British theaters then almost always showed short films along with features and Lucas wanted something that would go well with The Empire Strikes Back. By chance Christian met a Fox Film executive and told him of his un-produced script for a medieval fantasy, The Black Angel, which was too expensive to do in film school. Lucas read the script, okayed it and Fox gave the money for it to be made. "And that's what kicked me off," Christian says.
One of the interesting things about Black Angel, which I haven't seen but would love to is that it was never released in any home video format and it was believed lost until a copy of the film was found in 2011 by a Universal Studios archivist. A digitally restored and remastered version of the film will be screened at the festival.

Sources: Arstechnica, Mvff.com, StarWars.com(via backup link) and Wikipedia

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