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12

SUNDAY

Lost among the detritus of failed Star Wars prequels and calculated commercialism is the fact that George Lucas was once a student of the art in which he later became a precedent-setter. Produced under the tutelage of Francis Ford Coppola, THX 1138, Lucas’ 1971 debut feature, was adapted from a short he shot while attending the University of Southern California’s film school. In addition to the impact its bald-is-the-new-beautiful characters would have on the fashion sensibilities of ’80s phenomenon Alien Nation, the film’s chilly dystopianism—expressed in the sterile white of the prison where the title character (played by Robert Duvall) is incarcerated after committing a sex crime (he, um, has sex)—has since informed the aesthetics of countless imagined futurescapes. Far from the crowd-pleasing theatrics of the Indiana Jones or Star Wars franchises, Lucas’ first feature is concerned more with art than state-of-the-art. See into the (old) future when the film screens tonight at 1:05, 3:10, 5:15, 7:20, and 9:25 p.m. (see Showtimes for other dates) at the American Film Institute’s Silver Theatre and Cultural Center, 8633 Colesville Road, Silver Spring. $8.50. (301) 495-6700. (Chris Hagan)