by Danny Leigh.
Would cinema be better off if George Lucas had ditched the films after American Graffiti and bred koi instead?
I do like a spot of alternate history – the literary subgenre in which a crucial historical moment either turns out entirely differently or never happens at all, at a stroke transforming the here and now into the jarringly unfamiliar. On the page, for instance, the idea of Hitler winning the war famously animated Philip K Dick and Robert Harris into grim flights of speculative fancy.
But you can also treat the concept as a parlour game – one easily applied to film. How would cinema have been affected had Akira Kurosawa made it as a painter and never made Seven Samurai? What if the 1998 best picture Oscar had gone not to Shakespeare in Love, but Gummo?
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