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9.2 52 10
FanMix May 04, 2013 14220
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I have to admit, I've seen the poster for Pulp Empire on this site a few times and I immediately dismissed it thinking "Huh? That'll never work." But I ended up stumbling across a few clips on Vimeo tonight including the entire last chapter of the edit and being a fan of both Tarantino and Star Wars, and being intrigued by njvc's choices in the clip I saw, I decided to watch the whole thing.

One of the things I always find most entertaining about Tarantino's films is his oddball choice of music, the bizarre yet genius mix of Motown, surf music, and the occasional Ennio Morricone track that has come to be known as "the Tarantino sound".

Njvc has taken this signature sound and applied it to a cut of The Empire Strikes Back that we've never seen before. It's an arrangement of the narrative that is so unique, even if you were to take away the Tarantino-fied soundtrack, it could be watched on its own merit alone.

What njvc has created here is not quite a Tarantino film and not quite The Empire Strikes Back, but something entirely strange and new, and beautiful. It's very akin to the feeling I get when I watch The Wizard of Oz with Pink Floyd's "The Dark Side of the Moon" playing over it. It feels at once both familiar and alien.

I love radical edits. This kind of fearless fanediting is what I admire the most and it's the type of thing I always endeavored to create when I was editing. It's the concept of "Let's do something completely different with the material..." And njvc has done that successfully.

There's so much I loved about this edit: The non-linear narrative, the character introductions, the split screens, the animation in the cave vision. All inspired work.

But the part that I found to be most improved by this edit (ironically) is widely considered the best and most important in the entire saga. The "I am your father" scene, which is now juxtaposed with Neil Young's "Old Man". The way njvc handled it with the scrolling flashbacks...the father/son parallels. It was just so well done. It even evoked some emotion in me, reminding me of my own relationship with my father and I think that's when art is it's best, when it acts as a mirror for the viewer. So in that way, you've taken THE scene...the most important scene in the entire saga, injected it with an emotional power that elevated what was already there and created a version that surpasses the original (for me), even as iconic a scene as it is.

It's worth the download for that scene alone.

All of that being said, if I had to name a weakness in this edit, it's John Williams. Though he's been relegated to the back burner reasonably well by njvc, it seems the white-bearded maestro keeps trying to creep back in at every opportunity. At times, it sounds like there are two or even three pieces of music playing at once. Not for long, mind you. But it's enough to keep this from getting a perfect audio editing rating.

To be fair, I was wearing head phones while watching, so it may sound better on a TV. It's a tough subject because I know how very, very hard it is to deal with that center channel music in one of Lucas' or Spielberg's films. There's nothing you can really do about it.

Having done 100% audio rebuilds of protracted action scenes, I can tell you, it isn't any fun. It's the same thing that killed my Star Wars: Reborn edits, the frustrating plague of John Williams encroaching into the center channel, ruining something that you know could be so great if only he wasn't there. I always said the greatest gift someone could give to the fanediting community is a clean, music-free audio track with only dialogue and effects for all six Star Wars films...and maybe Indy 4.

But, I know a LOT of work must have been put in by njvc to making Pulp Empire's audio as good as it is at this point.

All in all, you did an amazing job, njvc! I really enjoyed the unique experience you delivered with this edit and I'm hoping you'll do "Inglorious Clones" with Samuel L. Jackson, the ultimate Tarantino/Star Wars connector. There's always the play on "Jango/Django Unchained" you can pilfer too. ;)


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