THX 1138

1971, American Zoetrope

While attending the University of Southern California's film school, George Lucas made a student film entitled Electronic Labyrinth: THX 1138 4EB; four years later, it was turned into a feature film with the help of Francis Ford Coppola. Its borderline avant-garde style, deliberately sterile performances and stream-of-consciousness sound design (created by co-writer Walter Murch) proved challenging to audiences, eliciting a decidedly cool reception and barely breaking even. But after Lucas' runaway hit Star Wars, THX 1138 developed a cult following, and more recent reviews have been quite favorable, suggesting perhaps it was ahead of its time. Much as he'd done with his Star Wars trilogy, Lucas tinkered with it and released a director's cut in 2004. And yes, everyone appearing in the film had to shave their heads.






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