There are plenty of directors working today that would probably like to forget their early works. We refuse to let that happen, since you can learn a lot about a filmmaker by examining their first efforts. What are they passionate about? What drew them to cinema? How has their style developed? Were the marks of genius always present? All these questions can usually be answered by watching the freshman films of famous directors.
Film Tumblr extraordinaire Cinephilia has shared two different student films made by a young George Lucas. While the Star Wars director was studying at USC, he created several 16 mm cinéma vérité shorts for his film and animation classes. Look at Life was Lucas' first attempt, and it encapsulated the 1960s landscape. The intense, minute-long short features images of Martin Luther King Jr., the Ku Klux Klan, and soldiers torn apart by war. The second movie, 1:42:08 A Man and His Car, follows Australian racing legend Pete Brock. There's no dialogue, but the sounds of Brock's car speeding along the track make for a nail-biting experience.