Art critic Camille Paglia wants American culture to embrace the story of art, which is why in her new book — Glittering Images: A Journey Through Art from Egypt to Star Wars — she contends that George Lucas’ Revenge of the Sith is the greatest work of art created in the last 30 years.
We’ll give you a few moments to let you process that. Maybe she watched Revenge of the Sith with the sound off?
In an interview with Vice.com, Paglia says:
The long finale of Revenge of the Sith has more inherent artistic value, emotional power, and global impact than anything by the artists you name. It’s because the art world has flat-lined and become an echo chamber of received opinion and toxic over-praise. It’s like the emperor’s new clothes — people are too intimidated to admit what they secretly think or what they might think with their blinders off…
I had considered using Japanese anime for the digital art chapter of the book, but it lacked the overwhelming operatic power and yes, seriousness of Lucas’s Revenge of the Sith.
If Paglia was genuinely moved or affected by Revenge of the Sith, good for her, but the film simply doesn’t work on a cinematic level at all. It’s dull, tired, and stale, in spite of its keen visual eye. Cinema is far more than just visuals, and the only way Revenge of the Sith is the greatest work of anything is if your sample size is limited to Episodes I, II, and III.
Then again, maybe we’re all wrong about this one. Maybe in 30 years we’ll see Revenge of the Sith in museum galleries and the centerpiece of stimulating lectures on art history in the digital world. If that’s the case, let’s hope this sequence will be on museum walls for all time.