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Thread: Found Again - The Long Lost Film That Played Before The Empire Strikes Back

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    Default Found Again - The Long Lost Film That Played Before The Empire Strikes Back



    Alien and Star Wars' art director Roger Christian eventually went on to direct the notoriousBattlefield Earth but, long before that, he made his directorial debut with Black Angel. This short film was endorsed by George Lucas who saw it packaged as a short to play before The Empire Strikes Back in Australia and some of Europe, including the UK.

    It's the story of a knight from the crusades who gets transported somehow to a fantasy realm - a swords and sorcery John Carter, almost. John Boorman was apparently inspired by the look and style of the film in his approach with Excalibur, and a step-printing device used in the fight scenes was also borrowed for Empire.

    The film was never released on any home video format and even Christian thought the film was long lost until, as Wired report, a negative turned up in Universal's vaults.

    While nothing is set just yet, Christian thinks the best way to release the film now will be for download. At just 25 minutes runtime that seems sensible to me too.

    Here's the image from the film that Wired have published. Does this jog your memory? My recollections of this film are very, very vague indeed...

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    I saw the US release of Empire on the first showing. We didn't have any short films preceding it, at least in Louisville KY. I do recall trailers for Blues Brothers and So Fine, however.

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    With the Star Wars Movies being set to be released the best way to rerelease this short film is to remaster it in 3-D and play before Empire.


    But releasing it as a digital download is the next best thing (and truth be told even if they replayed it before Empire the next step should have been to release it as a digital download anyway)

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    Wrote the Book on Cool Bishop37's Avatar
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    Yep, I remember it being on before Empire here in the UK.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bishop37 View Post
    Yep, I remember it being on before Empire here in the UK.
    But what else do you remember about it?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brendon Connelly View Post
    But what else do you remember about it?
    Some chap dressed all in black and I think there was a fight on a wooden bridge across a stream with the hero.

    It's all a bit hazy.

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    Zen Master of Cool stegron's Avatar
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    Holy SHIT!!!

    I vividly remember seeing this before Empire as a 10 year old - must have seen Black Angel three times, and I never forgot it (a mate of mine was asking about it about a month ago, but no-one could remember the film's name).

    The most vivid memory of it is the main character dying (I think) in a lake. Actually, that could be the framing sequence, as I seem to remember this shot being returned to again and again...

    This brings back some warm, fuzzy memories. Thanks for this, Brendan.
    Last edited by stegron; 12-28-2012 at 04:12 PM.

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    If he drowns at the end then I remember it!

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    I saw it with Empire Strikes Back in the UK too. The short had started when we came into the room and I thought that we were late and it was the very start of Empire. Memories are very hazy - as we came in there was a rider on a horse (carrying a torch in the dark?) and because of what I'd read about Empire I thought this was Luke Skywalker on a Tauntaun, then I realized my mistake. I seem to remember the Knight being in the water at some point - possibly fighting somebody or something. That's about it. I don't think the film made much sense to me at the time but I'd be curious to see it again. I don't remember the woman in the still - just the horse, the knight and the water.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brendon Connelly View Post


    Alien and Star Wars' art director Roger Christian eventually went on to direct the notoriousBattlefield Earth but, long before that, he made his directorial debut with Black Angel. This short film was endorsed by George Lucas who saw it packaged as a short to play before The Empire Strikes Back in Australia and some of Europe, including the UK.

    It's the story of a knight from the crusades who gets transported somehow to a fantasy realm - a swords and sorcery John Carter, almost. John Boorman was apparently inspired by the look and style of the film in his approach with Excalibur, and a step-printing device used in the fight scenes was also borrowed for Empire.

    The film was never released on any home video format and even Christian thought the film was long lost until, as Wired report, a negative turned up in Universal's vaults.

    While nothing is set just yet, Christian thinks the best way to release the film now will be for download. At just 25 minutes runtime that seems sensible to me too.

    Here's the image from the film that Wired have published. Does this jog your memory? My recollections of this film are very, very vague indeed...

    Not seen it for decades but remember it well -thought it was brilliant at the time (only fantasy to compare it with at the time was Excalibur and err.. Hawk The Slayer), none of the directors later output comes anywhere near close

    Plot I think is a medieval version of this
    An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    which was also a Twlight Zone episode

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