By May 22, 2015 Read More →

George Lucas Cruised Here


George Lucas Cruised Again!

On June 7, 2013, George Lucas cruised 10th Street in Modesto USA for the first time in maybe 51 years. The streets and the city that inspired the 1973 groundbreaking film “American Graffiti” were the place where most memories were made, and the citizens of Modesto paid tribute to one of our hometown heroes. Celebrating George Lucas gives our city a sense of civic pride, and in a way tells our own story. Our history is something we can be proud of, and it is a story we need to tell around the world, just like George Lucas did. We caught up with George as he began his next chapter of storytelling.

ModestoView: How does it feel to be home again?
George Lucas: It always feels wonderful to visit your hometown where you grew up and had so many good times. My family still lives here and it’s always good to visit old friends.

MV Why did you do a movie about cruising?
GL For most filmmakers, if you are a writer and a director, you make movies about the things you know about. Growing up in Modesto, I spent many years cruising 10th St and I was enamored with the experience and so that is how the movie American Graffiti came to be.

MV: When you made the movie, did you think it would have such a long lasting effect in this area?
GL: Well actually I didn’t. By the time I made the movie, cruising was a thing of the past, but I wanted to document what it was like to grow up in a small town with all its various rituals that are unique to the customs of cruising.

MV: Why do you think the film was so successful?
GL: American Graffiti (in terms of a an idea of moving out of my more abstract love of films) gave me a chance to do something that was a comedy, something that was an interesting document about a phenomenon in America, cruising, and in the end started my career ‘cause it was the first really successful movie I’d had.

MV: What is your fondest memory of Modesto and what do you think of its growth?
GL: Cruising 10th Street. It was like a nightly party, always full of excitement and possibility. I think Modesto’s growth is a natural part of aging and that is a good thing. Without growth, you atrophy and disappear.

We thank George Lucas for making a movie about our city that inspires us to research and revisit our history and to use it as a guide to make us a better city for the future. See the George Lucas video interview and check out the different locations of the Modesto Historic Cruise Route at www.modestocruiseroute.com

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