|George Lucas (left) with his wife, Mellody Hobson, and SFMOMA Director Neal Benezra|
As we reported way back in May, George Lucas has received a lifetime-achievement award from the SFMOMA.
SFMOMA’s Modern Art Council presented a lifetime-achievement award to Bay Area filmmaker George Lucas at the 14th Annual Bay Area Treasure Award dinner. With over 200 people in attendance at the Four Seasons Hotel in San Francisco, the Modern Art Council hosted a presentation celebrating Lucas’ career and contributions. During the elegant dinner, Lucas shared the stage with SFMOMA’s Curator of Media Arts and Curator of Education for a conversation about the artist and his art.
The evening began with Modern Art Council President Candace Cavanaugh speaking to benefactors at an intimate champagne reception. “Tonight we honor George Lucas with the prestigious Bay Area Treasure Award for his achievements in the arenas of cinema and technological innovation. We are proud to recognize this brilliant pioneer in filmmaking.”
Jonathan Rinzler, author of several books covering a range of Lucas’ work, spoke about insights gleaned from his 12 years working for Lucas Films and his conversations with Lucas. “I hope to give you a little insight as to George’s artistry.” Guests gathered around large-screen televisions in the reception area adjacent to the dining hall as Rinzler presented photographs and short clips from various films, highlighting Lucas’ uncommon approach to graphics, screen composition and special effects sequences. Rinzler discussed Lucas’ early films ‘Look at Life’ and ‘THX 1138’ declaring them “tone poems.” He described early box office successes like ‘American Graffiti’ and ‘Star Wars’ as creative risks in storytelling that paved the path for new facets of storylines in modern cinema.
Rinzler said that George faced tremendous obstacles getting the first Star Wars film made. “The studio didn’t understand the script, didn’t want to make it. If George hadn’t had the profit from American Graffiti, chances are that Star Wars never would have been made because he paid for a lot of pre-production from his own pocket, paying the artists and so on, to get Star Wars going.”