George Lucas Interview By Chris Murphy and Ken White
Why did you do a movie about cruising? 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.
What did music, cars, and cruising mean to you as a teenager growing up in Modesto? I think ultimately cruising is an important part of American culture, When I was going to Modesto Junior College I was an anthropology major and I became fascinated with the modern mating rituals of American youth who did their dance in cars, rather than in the town square or in other ways that societies have done these things. So I found it a very unique and exciting diversion of the way the mating rituals work in many countries.
Why do you think the film was so successful? 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 American, cruising, and in the end started my career ‘cause it was the first really successful movie I’ve ever had.
The complete interview can be seen on video at www.modestocruiseroute.com
George Lucas pictures copyright and courtesy of Universal Pictures and Lucasfilm Ltd.
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About the Author: Chris's bio information.